The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast Page  -  Home

    Военно-воздушные силы СССР / Military Air Forces

Credit:  Roundels of the world

                                        Last update 21-09-2019


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 for onward delivery to the Soviet Union. A Soviet mission was in charge to control the technical condition and preparation for transportation and load on cargo ships. Selection of type was done by the General Soviet Staff, chosen aircrafts were by a military attaché.

Some sources mentions that only one Northrop F-5E was supplied, another (probably exact) is listed below.

Three Northrop F-5 were flown by prisonner 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.
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.

Additionnally, apart from a complete technical documentation, a significant number of spare parts and engines, all flight manualts (making the handling of the aircraft easy to fly) were available. 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. 


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-21s 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.

The Soviet aircraft industries, and particularly OK Sukhoi, used the lessons learned on this aircraft for several project.

           Photo: unknown
            Northrop F-5E 00867 with red star on tail, no code on nose.

                               Photo: unknown
                                     Same aircraft coded "10"at the OK Sukhoi museum