القوات الجوية الملكية المغربية - ALKOWAT AL MALAKIYA AL JAWIRA AL MAGHRIBIYA

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                                        Last update 26-07-22

BASES                                                                               PROCUREMENT
     Morocco received shortly after its independence 12 Mikoyan-Gurevitch MiG-17 and 2 MiG-15UTI from the Soviet Union to equip its only fighter Squadron; these
      were grounded in 1963
 following a border conflict with Algeria and Soviet Union's preferencefor Algeria as an allied, supplying MiG-17, MiG-21 fighters and Il-28
      The USA were contacted in order to obtain new fighters; on 26-01-66 an arrangement
was approved for 8 MAP supplied F-5A (USD 5m) and 2 F-5A, 2 F-5B and
      support equipment supplied under credit (USD 6m) to equip one Squadron based at Meknčs-Kénitra AB. 

      First 6 of 15 pilots completed their conversion at Williams AFB in in May 1966; handover in USA of the first 2 single- and 2 double-seaters took place on 27-10-66;
      AIM-9B Sidewinders were also supplied. A USAF Military Assistance and Advisory Group was also stationed at Meknčs.

     Delivery was originally planned to be completed in 1966, but by 1967 only the first three (four according some sources) single-seaters, followed in 1968 by
     another five had been received.
One double-seater was received in 1968. Different is
the USAF Historical Office: four Northrop F-5A/B were operational in
     September 1966, a fifth in June 1967.

     According to an official US list funded from the Security Assistance Program were FY 1976 (and previously) for 1 Northrop RF-5A, 2 F-5A, 7 F-5B.

Additional to the first lot of 12 aircrafts, 6 new Northrop F-5A, 1 former USAF F-5A, 2 RF-5A reconnaissance aircrafts and 2 additional Northrop F-5B followed till 1971. Iran supplied six Northrop F-5A, authorisation
given by the US in April 1976
upon its own re-equipped with Northrop F-5E. Some single-seaters were received, according to one other source 5 Northrop F-5A and 2 reconnaissance Northrop RF-5A, were received
from Iran.

Initial aircrafts were in natural metal colours kept till ca 1973, followed by late deliveries in camouflaged colours. Conversion traininig of F-5A pilots took during mid-70s also place in Iran.

Northrop F-5A-35 21243 stored at McClellan AFB on 28-10-87 before handing over.                      Northrop F-5A-45 97109 seen in USA on 10-06-70, before delivery       Photo: Frank MacSorley

On 16-08-72 an event took place that was to influence the development of F-5 operations for a long time: three armed, of the five Northrop F-5As and 1 Northrop F-5B escorting King Hassan II on its return from a
visit to France, attacked the royal Boeing 727. The King was not hit and the damaged Boeing landed at Rabat where the airport was strafed by the same aircrafts;
one was lost, due to fuel shortage, when the pilot
tried to escape
. Later that day, 4 F-5As strafed the Royal Palace, again without results. Hussan II was not hurt and a massive purge of Air Force personnel/pilots followed.

Freedom Fighters participated to the six day war between Egypt and Israel in October 1973; only a reduced number of pilots/aircrafts were available following the recent coup against the King. On 19-10-73 twelve
Northrop F-5A and 14 pilots was transferred to the Egyptian base of el-Tanta via Ageria, Tunisia and Libya.  Two Lockheed C-130 delivered spare parts, armament and technical personnell. They participated only to air
patrols behind the war lines. Two AIM-9B Sidewinder armed Northrop F-5A had the only opportunity to engage the Israelis in January 1974 when they were ordered to intercept 2 Mirage IIIRJ over the Suez Canal area
but had to return to base when 4 Israeli McDonnel F-4 protecting the reconnaissance aircrafts were discovered by the radars.

First loss of Freedom Fighters occurred on 17-11-76 during the Indipendence Day parade at Marrakech, when one F-5A and one F-5B collided in flight killing three pilots.


War in former Spanish Sahara broke in 1974 out, when Spain was ready to leave its colony. Morocco occupied two thirds (Northernregion) and Mauritania one third (Southern region, around Dakhla) of the country;
ocal Polisario Liberation Front,
with the help of Algeria, continued its fight for independence after having started fighting against Spain since May 1973.

Fouga Magisters (based at Laayoune) and North American T-6 (based at Ad Dhakla) were initially used for ground forces support, but these were insufficent to combat the heavily armed Front and Northrop F-5A were
used from 1976; several aircrafts (probably most of the Squadron) were deployed to Laayoune (formerly El Aiun)
to shorten the enormous distance to the operation field;  initial Moroccan main objective was to
create a controlled/safe area around Laayoune, Smara and the phosphate rich field of Bu Craa. At least five Northrop F-5A were stationed at Laayoune in 1978.

An offer for 20 Northrop F-5E and 4 F-5F Tiger was requested in August 1975 by the Moroccan government to strengthen the ground-attack/air defence capability and a Letter of Offer and Acceptance for the value of
USD 120m was submitted by the USA in March 1976; this included training, support equipment and spares, all to be paid by Foreign Military Sales credits.
Deliveries could have started in 1977.The offer was not taken-up
as was a second Letter of Offer the same year. Morocco requested at this point the supply of Tigers under the US Military Assistance Plan, which was denied by the USA.

An order was instead placed in 1975 for 30 Dassault Mirage F1.CH (interceptors with ground attack capability), followed by additional 14 Mirrage F.1EH and 6 Mirage F.1EH-2000 (fighter-bombers). Deliveries started in
February 1978, ending in 1980; these aircrafts became the main ground attack aircrafts.

A possible swap of Jordanian Northrop F-5As against Moroccan bought Northrop F-5E considered in 1976 took not place.

Polisario introduced in its arsenal the SA-7 Strela short-range, shoulder mounted, surface-to-air missile in 1976 to contrast Moroccan fighter-bombers, succeeding in shooting down one F-5 already on 21-01-76. 
During 1977 and 1978 Freedom Fighters were used in a limited extent; they flew only an average of 100 hours a month.

On 12-12-78 Moroccan AF F-5As and North American T-6s attacked an Polisario column heading to attack the Mauritanian railway line.

           Photo : via www.farmaroc.com
                                                                 Former Iranian Northrop F-5A 01378; of note Iranian code "O" on tail

Use of Freedom Fighters in the Sahara region posed a problem as early USA armament use was limited by the US Arms Control Act; this authorsed the use of the weapons only for internal security and self-defence.
During a US congressional hearing in March 1978. the State Department stated that their use was not a "substantial violation" of US law.

Battle area size increased considerably in July 1978, when Mauretania arranged a ceasefire and Morocco occupied its former Western Sahara area; in Mauritania stationed Moroccan troops were withdrawn when a peace
agreement was signed in August 1979, when (most probably all) Northrop F-5s were also withdrawn.

Spare parts were procured from the USA in 1979, USD 2m for the Northrop F-5 and Lockheed C-130 fleet and ammunition for USD 3.0m, including bombs and rockets. The war became very intensive during the July
1979 to December 1981 period with increased intervention of the fighter-bombers, even with 500 lbs bombs, while
Polisario anti-aircraft artillery was strengthened by Soviet ZPU-23-4 self propelled cannons and
SA-9 short-range missiles

Altogether 9 Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighters were lost during the war.

      Freedom Fighter bore the brunt of the aerial combat, flying numerous strikes against Polisario targets. The Mauritanian Army, relatively poorly equipped, needed help;
      three F-5As were also based at Nouadhibou (Mauritania) to support it. Other airfields, Nouakchott and Atar, were expanded to accomodate Moroccan F-5s and
      Mirage F.1 beginning 1978. At least five Northrop F-5s were based at Laayouine in February 1978.

           Photo : via www.farmaroc.com
                                                                               Unknown Northrop F-5A Freedom Tiger on take-off at Nouadhibou in February 1978

Altogether 9 Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighters were lost during the war.

Finally, after approval in October 1979 by the US government and with the finacial help of Saudi Arabia, 16 Northop F-5E an 4 Northrop F-5F were ordered late 1979 at a cost of ca USD 170m; this was part of
USD 253m package which included 6 North American OV-10A and 24 Hughes 500MD. Another 6 single-seaters ordered by Morocco were not taken-up and transferred to Singapore.

In flight delivery via Canada, Greenland, Iceland and the United Kingdom of the first 10 F-5E and 4 F-5F started in January and was completed by August 1981. The remaining 6 Northrop F-5E, the first built aircrafts
and in-flight refuelling probe equipped, followed in January 1983. The local aviation industry installed the probe on the remaining aircrafts in Morocco.

Awaiting delivery in USA 91936, of note missing ECM antenna/air refuelling probe. 
                                Northrop F-5F 91942 in USA before delivery May 1980, no ECM atenna/air refuelling probe.
                                                                                                                  Photo : Archive The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast

Acquisition of 381 AGM-65B Maverick ground-attack missiles, for use by both the F-5 and Mirage F.1, was decided in order to avoid to be exposed to anti-aircrafts guns and missiles; 
a contract was signed in April 1982. For air-to-air combat AIM-9B Sidewinders had been originally purchased, followed later by more advanced AIM-9D and AIM-9J versions, later AIM-9M.

      Aero Maroc Industrie was established 10-81 at Casablanca to support, overhaul, modify and repair Moroccan military aircrafts,
      including FreedomFighters and Tigers.
       To help alleviate the F-5 short range problem of the aircraft, insufficent to operate deep iinto the desert,Aero Maroc Industrie
      fitted a Northrop F-5B
ca 1982 with an in-flight refuelling probe as a prototype installation for operational trials with a newly bought
      Boeing B.707-138B fitted with Beech hose units at the wingtips for refuelling of Northrop F-5E; 2 Lockheed KC-130H were also
      delivered beginning 1982.
                   Photo: unknown

     The Hares photo reconnaissance pod for Northrop F-5E and GAMD Mirage F.1s was also produced by Aero Maroc Industrie.

Unnoticed introduction in 1981 by Polisario of the SA-6 Gainful medium range, high altitude anti-aircrafts missiles was an enormous shock to the Moroccan AF. It led to the loss on 13-11-81 of one F-5A,

2 Mirage F.1 and 1 C-130 near Guelta Zemmour and to the reduction of operation for these fighters, leaving the Army with little or no air support and reconnaissance for the period between October and
December 1981.The loss of 1 Northrop F-5A and Mirage F.1with their pilots was devastating, resulting a ralation crises between the Army and Air Force.
the air arm went on a very limited offensive
starting from January 1982; it could still operate f
rom EL Ayoun with 3 Mirage F.1 and 2 Northrop F-5, though no pre-or past strike reconnaissance took place.

An October 1986 (but probably prepared around 1983) USA published in-depth study of the Moroccan AF stated that there were 8 Northrop F-5A/F-5B serviceable and 12 qualified pilots, but were rarely flown.
Thirteen Northrop F-5E/F-5F were also available without any radars warning system, chaff flare dispensers; only 6 pilots were qualified to fly this model. All aircrafts were minimally used in the war zone; six
additional RWR equipped were on order.

Pilots needed around three years to achieve initial operational capability on the Northrop F-5s, too long for western standards and the main air war limiting factor was the shortage of pilots, those available were
not trained to fly in an SA-6 missiles environement. The best F-5 pilots were transferred to the Mirage F.1 units used in the fighter-bomber role, aircrafts having some counter-electronic measures equipment.

Two Dassault Falcon 20 and 1 Falcon 50 were modified with Electronic Counter Measures (jamming) equipment to partially make good lack of equipment on thr fighters.

USA assistance to solve the SA-6 problem was requested and granted in 1987. A three-men USAF team went for 60 days to Meknčs to teach to the pilots on low-level, high-speed flying skills. Unfortunately  the
team's results were not very effective for several reasons.

In addtion, the USA offered 10 ALQ-119 ECM pod and 10 ALE-38 chaff and flare dispensers
at a cost of between USD 20m and USD 40m on a cash, non-renewable lease basis, which was not accepted due to the
high costs and the short time pods' availability

Sexteen serials of new built Northrop F-5Es and of four F-5F are known.

Finally, on 11-08-88 Morocco and Polisario agreed upon a UN cease fire plan but it went in effect only in 1991, though war actions slowed down during this period, but dragged on till now.

War Losses:  Dates written in blue are claimed by Polisario

18-02-78 over Aguerguer,  08-06-78 (two), 10-09-78 North of Smara by SA-7 missile
10-02-79 serial 669120, -10-79, 27-12-80, 13-11-81 during the battle for Guelta Zemmour.
12-01-85 by SA-6 near Algerian border, 21-08-87, -09-91 near Tifariti serial 91921.

                            Just visible behing the wreck of a Mirage F.1 is the tail  of anF-5A-30 and tail of Northrop F-5E white RWR, all at Polisario
museum Tindouf (Algeria) 1996. Photos: G. Gaianof

Overhauls, modifications, upgrades
The 1990's were used to overhaul, modify, 
upgrade and to top-up the remaining fighters . Unfortunately no detailed official information  is available.

Eleven Northrop F-5Es, formerly operated by USAF's disbanded 527th Squadron for dissimilar training in Europewere bought to make good losses. Deliveries from Kemble AB (UK) started on 19-10-89, being
completed on 08-04-92. These aircrafts had been heavily used and had limited avionics equipment; they maintained initially their original colours. Seven are known to be equipped with tail Radar Warning Receiver

Northrop F-5E 01543 at Meknes in July 1990 in USAF camouflage, in the background a                                    Northrop F-5E 01553 in aggressor camouflage in 1991.
Freedom Fighter in silver colours!                                                     Photos: Archive The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast

Planned partial replacement of the Tigers in 1991 with 12 former US Air National Guard General Dynamics F-16A and F-16B, again financed by Saudi Arabia, was not realised due to Saudi funds shortage after the
first Gulf War.

Improvements to Freedom Fighters were realised with the installation of Northrop F-5E avionics on the remaining aircrafts (probably 8 F-5A 2 RF-5A, 2 F-5B); a contract was stipulated with the French company
Sogerma at Bordeaux (France) and protoype
installations were carried out on an Northrop F-5B, re-delivered in October 1997, and one Northrop F-5A, re-delivered in February 1998. Five Northrop F-5A had been
modified in Morocco by April 1998.

Upgrade prototype Northrop F-5A-45 97093 at Bordeaux in February 1998,
                                                                    Photo: Archive The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast

Next step to keep the fleet up-to-date concerned the Northrop F-5E/Fs; details are sketchy due to political sensibility. It seems that negotiations were already held with IAIof Israel around 1996 without follow up.

The year 2000 saw the start of actual planning and IAI was selected to do the work, though there is no official information; upgrade consisted in an EL/2032 multi-role radar, navigation, heads-up display and several
other equipment

The deal with IAI failed and Sogerma took-over the uprading , done between 2001 and 2004. Prototype conversion was possily carried out by SOGERMA followed by other conversions at Casablanca; both original
Moroccan and some former USAF obtained these modifications.
Elettronica ELT/555 active Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) pods were purchased in Italy, RWR, HOTAS system were installed, together with an HUD;
additionally Northrop Grumman Litenining laser designator pods have been purchased.
All this gave an enormous improvement over the original Northrop F-5E/F-5Fs; new local designation is Northrop  F-5E III.

                                                                Photo: BNAF
                                                            Northrop F-5E 91940 equipped with ACES ECM pod photographed in flight.

There were 32 aircrafts in service in 2004 according to an US source. Another source mentioned that as few as 10 Northrop F-5 remained in service; 3 should be lost in combat (1985, 1987, 1991), up to 7
cannibalized at Laayounne or Guelmin.

It is reported that some (7) Tigers have been cannibalised by the beginning of 2014 for spare parts and 24 have been updated to the new configuration;
pPilots are current in air-to-air and to ground specialities.

Escadre de Chasse F-5   at BA Meknčs   frame 1     The Escadre (Wing) includes two Escadrons (Squadrons): 
  Escadron Borak - mainly for air defence duties, training on two-seaters        Escadron Chahine  - mainly for air-to-ground duties
Part of this Escadre is also the ERIGE (Escadron de reconnaissance, d'Interception et de Guerre Electronique/Reconnaissance, Interception, Electronic Warfare Squadron).

                                                    Photo:  Archive F-5 Enthusiast                                                            

                                                                 Northrop F-5E 50612 with four underwing bomb racks.

A Detachment is permanenly based at Laayoune AB. Aircrafts are kept in hardened shelters. Guelmim AB also houses F-5s in hardened shelters while all two-seater are assigned
to the Borak Squadron.

                                                                          Photo: far-maroc.forumpro.fr

                                                                    Undefuselage view of an Northrop F-5E with four underwing pylons

Training / Exercises

The Air Force command was well aware or the importance of dissimilar training, with other Air Forces, for Moroccan Northrop F-5 and Mirage F.1 pilots; this particularly in view of the re-equipment of the Algerian AF with
high performance fighters/bombers (MiG-23, MiG-29, MiG-25). An important number of execises/exchanges was organised, both in Morocco and abroad
, even while the war was going on.

Regular yearly Moroccan/Spanish exercises, alternatively held in Morocco and Spain, were established under the names "Atlas" and "Navimaes", starting from 1984.

Two Northrop F-5B of the Spanish Escuela de Reactores deployed to Meknčs AB during 1984.

"Atlas-88" took place mainly in the area of the Straight of Gibraltar on the 2nd and 3rd  1988 with the particioation of Moroccan Northrop F-5. GAMD Mirage F.1, Alpha Jet and  French GAMD Mirage III, McDonnell F-4C,
GAMD Mirage F.1

Four Northrop F-5E/F were deployed for "Atlas 1993" to Talavera la Real AB.

"Atlas-00'" was the deployment in March 2000 to Talavera la Real (Spain) of 3 Northrop F-5E and 1 F-5F.

The 2002 edition took place from the 7th till the 12th of April; three Spanish CASA/Northrop SF-5 came to Meknes AB to mix with four local four local Northrop F-5E, while four Spanish GAMD Mirage F.1 met with five
local GAMD Mirage F.1.

French Base Nancy-Ochey was used for ECM training in May 2003: This base is particularly known housing radars hunting aircraft.

Five Northrop F-5E/F were deployed for "Atlas 2004" to Talavera la Real AB (in addition to Mirage F.1CH/EH and 5 Alpha Jets to Albacete AB. The Spanish AF participated to this years' exercise with F-5BM of Ala 23,
F-18 of Ala 12, Mirage F.1 of Ala 14.

Two Northrop F-5E and 2 Northrop F-5F deployed to Talavera AB in order to exercise with the Spanish Ala 23 CASA/Northrop F-5B+s for exercise "Navimaes 06" between July 24th and eighth, 2006.

The 2008 edition of  "Atlas" exercise started on May 26th; two Northrop F-5E III and one F-5F III went to Talavera la Real, their pilots coming from both Squadrons Chahine and Borak. These aircrafts operated with
and against CASA/Northrop F-5M, Dassault Mirage F.1 and McDonnell EF-18.

Talavera la Real AB was visited again for another edition when 4 Tigers took part to the exercise from November 21st till 25th 2011, while 4 Northrop F-5E (together with Mirage F.1s) went between the 4th and 8th
2012 to Talavera AB.

The 2012 edition took place again at Talavera la Real AB  with X Northrop F-5E (and Mirage F.1s) while the 2014 took place from Meknes between June 9th and 13th. Moroccan Northrop F-5s and Mirage F.1 engaged
Spanish McDonnell F-18 normally based at las Palmas AB.

Three Northrop F-5E and 1 Northrop F-5F deployed to Talavera AB in order to exercise with the Spanish Ala 23 CASA/Northrop F-5B+s for exercise "Navimaes 15" between thr 8th and the 12th June 2015.


 "Atlas 2016", 30th edition,  started with 5 Northrop F-5E and 1 F-5F on 20-05-16 and ended at Salamanca, where the Ejercito del Aire utilized 3 Northrop F-5B+ as well as  CASA 101 and McDonnell-
 Douglas A/F-18s of Ala 12.

                                                                                                 Photo: Archives Northrop F-5 Enthusiast
                                                                              Three Northrop F-5E and 1 Northrop F-5F participating to the Atlas 2016
excercise at Salamanca AB

African Eagle" and "Ardent Eagle" exercises are held with USAF and US Marines units.

Collaboration with the USAF started in 1986, when the 525th Fighter Squadron, USAF, with its McDonnel F-15C was based at Sidi Slimane AB for one month in, followed with a similar exercise in 1987.

USAF McDonnel F-15s were based after the war at Sidi Slimane during several "African Eagle" exercises; the 494th Fighter squadron sent its F-15E in 1994; the 493th FS sent 2 of its F-15C and the 494th FS 10 of
its Northrop F-15E beginning till the 19th of December 1996.

Six USAF General Dynamics F-16C, of the Aviano AFB (Italy) based 555th Fighter Squadron, arrived at Sidi Slimane AB on 01-02-01, the exercise lasting one month.

The year 2007 saw in June the participation to the "African Lion" exercise of US Marines Lockheed KC-130T for F-5s in-flight refuelling training2 US Marines VMFT-401 F-5N instructors, based at Méknes AB from
September 10th till September 21st 
followed, refreshing/teaching Moroccan instructors air-to-air refuelling. This speciality had been neglected for the last 20 years (the B.707 was sold and the probes on the few
F-5s were removed

The year 2009 saw another edition of the "African Lion" exercise with the participation, between 22nd and 28th May 2009, of US Marines VMGR-234 Lockheed KC-130Ts based at Kenitra AB, in-flight refuelling
Moroccan F-5Es

                                                                                             Photo: US Marines
                                                         Northrop F-5E being in-flight refuelled from Marines KC-130T during exercise 
African Lion in May 2009.

"African Lion" took place in 2011, between 18th and 20th May, again with the participation of Lockheed KC-130T equipped VMGR 234 Marines Squadron, in-flight refuelling
Moroccan Northrop F-5E and F-5F.
The 2012 issue of the exercise took place from 12th April for 10 days; 2 Lockheed
KC-130T of the same US Marines unit participated again to it.
This exercise was also held in 2018.

BA Sidi Slimane and BA Meknes hosted Belgian AF (at Meknes AB) during October 1990 Mirage 5, 1999 and 2001 Belgian AF General Dynamics F-16A and 2003 French Mirage 2000. It is not known if these participated to dissimilar combat exercises with local F-5Es or just trained in very low level flying techniques.

Exercises with other air arms have also taken place:

visit to Beja AB (Portugal) of 1 Northrop F-5E and 1 F-5F during March 1997 to exercise with local Alpha Jets marked the first known Norhtop F-5 deployment abroad. This visit was followed
in June 2006 by another one by at least two Northrop F-5E.

Deployments to France could not miss:
Two Northrop F-5E and two F-5F, with their Elettronica ELT/555 pod were hosted at Colmar AB (France) in June 2002, probably to test their recent avionics/ECM upgrade.

                                                 Northrop F-5E 91936 landing at Colmar AB in June 2002 without underwing ECM pods and no air-refuelling probe.

                                                                                                                 Photo: E Bannwarth

                                                                                frame 1                 Photo: unknown
                                                                                             Line-up of Northrop F-5E, first serial 91937

International Exercises
In May 2004 CASA/Northrops (with GAMD Mirage F-1) spent one week in Sidi Slimane AB; two Northrop F-5E, armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder, participated on November 11th and 12th 2009 to the international exercise
"Renegades", involving the Portueguese,
Algerian, Tunisian, Libyan, Italian, French and Moroccan AF. A Portuguese CASA CN-295 coming from Spain, escorted by a local McDonnell F-18 , was intercepted first by one
Moroccan Northrop F-5E and one F-5F AIM9-9 Sidewinder armed (together with 2 GAMD Mirage F.1 and 1 Alphajet) after it had left Spanish skies. The Mirage F.1 were replaced by two other Northrop F-5E during the
exercise up to approximately the Gibraltar Strait, where one Spanish Eurofighter Typhoon took over the duty.

Exercise "Circaete 2013" to intercept and follow a civil aircraft took place on 31-10-13 with Moroccan Northrop F-Es and Mirage F1. Fighters participating for France were Rafales, Mirage 2000s, for Spain F-18s, for
Portugal F-16s, for Algeria MiG-29s and Su-30s.

"Lightning Handshake 2021" early March 2021 involved Moroccan Northrop F-5E/F-5F and General Electric F-16 and Boeing F/A-18 Hornet, Northrop/Grumman E-2C Hawleye AEW aircrafts of the nuclear carrier USS Dwight
Eisenhower. It included air-to-air refuelling excercises between the fighters.

                                                                  frame 1          Photo: US Navy
                                                            Boeing F/A-18 in-flight reuelling Northrop F-5E 91923 during excercise
Lightning Handshake 2021

Modifications / Replacement
Upgraded Northrop F-5 remain in use with the Escadre de Chasse 2 "Tiger" at Meknes/Bassatine AB, mainly as fighter-bomber with AGM-65B missiles (from 1981) and possIbly AGM-65D/H.

Modifications to the Northrop F-5 hardware include a new Elta EL-2032M radar, this and modified software allow now the use of AIM-120C, AIM-9X y AGM-65D missiles.

The choice of a new, first-line was announced in June 2008 after a long struggle between the Dassault Rafale and the Lockheed-Martin F-16C/D Block 52; this last won the order for 16 single- and
8 double-seater aircrafts.
The first 4 aircrafts were received in August 2011 and the last 3 on 22-08-12. Experienced Tiger pilots were trained at Tucson International Airport with the US National Guard. The F-16s have
now equipped newly formed Escadrons.

In November 2021 the Israeli Defence Minister visited Morocco. It signed an agreement to modernise Moroccan F-5s, particularly avionics, done by Elbist. It includes designation-pod Rafaeö Litening II and air-to-air
missiles Rafael Derby and infra-red Python 5, as well as intelligent bombs Rafael Spice; all these improvements are similar to the ones already done to the Brazilian and Thailand fleet in order to keep the modernised
Tigers operational at least for 15 years. In addition to these improvements is the purchase of Elbit Delilah short-range cruise missile.
Morocco announced in April 2022 a deal with a Belgian contractor for launching an
uprade of its F-5 Tigers.

One information state that there are in April 2022 approximately 23 Northrop F-5E and 4 Northrop F-5F in two units at Meknes AB in use.