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    Военно-воздушные силы СССР / Military Air Forces

Credit:  Roundels of the world

                                        Last update 02-10-2020


Captured South Vietnamese AF aircrafts (Northrop F-5s, Cessna A-37) and helicopters (Boein CH-47, bell UH-1) were assembled at Da Nang AB and offered to the Soviet Union. Russian specialists arrived at Da Nang AB in November 1975. A Soviet mission was in charge to control the technical condition and preparation for transportation and load on cargo ships. Selection of each type was done by the General Soviet Staff, all aircrafts were chosen by a military attaché.

Additionnally, apart from a complete technical documentation, a significant number of spare parts and 2 additional factory fresh engines, all flight manualts (making the handling of the aircraft easy to fly) were received. Ground equipment for maintenance was also delivered. Transfer to the port of Da Nang was by trucks towing the aircrafts, helicopters were flown in piloted again by prisonners unde escort.
The Soviet Union received in total four Northrop F-5E (one later test flown), four Cessna A-37 (two test flown), engines plus a set of AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.

Three Northrop F-5 were flown by Russian pilots, showing take-off, circling against Mikoyan MiG-21 and landing. Detailed examintion followed with the final result that they were in excellent operating conditions. Still, one leaked oil from the cooler and the radio didn't work when connected. The second one was in perfect conditions, was chosen and sealed.
Some sources mentions that only one Northrop F-5E was supplied (known is serial 03red, 10red - are they the same aircraft?).

The Tiger left good impressions, sometimes better than the Mikoyan MiG-21; technical documentation was almost not used as it was very easy to handle and the characteristscs of the equipment significantly better than the equivalent Russian one.


Disassembled Northrop F-5E arrived in the Soviet Union in summer 1976 first being transferred to Chalovsky AB State Flight Tests Centre, then to Akhubins AB where flight tests took place in winter 1976/1977. A complete sery of trials took place with one Northrop F-5E (serial 00867/with Red Star on tail and code 10) in an operating condition as a bandit. The  programm included 35-40 flights against MiG-21bis's and Mig-23M; the first (though more advanced) lost all the dogfights, the last one could resist when the dogfight lasted a few minutes or longer. Results much disappointing local engeneers, their positive report of the Tiger  disappearing somewhere.

The Soviet aircraft industries received the aircraft after testinga by the Air Force  with the clause not to fly but disassemble/study the structural features for future projects; particularly OK Sukhoi, used the lessons learned on this aircraft for several projects.

           Photo: unknown   
  Northrop F-5E 00867 with red star on tail, no code on nose.             Photo: unknown                                      Same aircraft coded "10 Red"at the OK Sukhoi museum               Photo: unknown