新加坡空军部队 - Angkatan Udara Republik Singapura
- Republic of Singapore Air Force
Till 1990 / From 1990
Credit: Roundels of the world
Last update 06-12-2018
Consideration to replace the Hawker Hunter in service as fighters was
given in 1975; the choice was to be between the McDonnell F-4, the
Northrop F-5 and the IAI Kfir.
late 1976 a Letter of Offer for the supply pf 18 Northrop F-5E and 3
F-5F, plus 200 AIM-9P Siderwinder air-to-air missiles at a total price
of USD 109.7m, later increased to USD 113.0m was taken up
Government of Sigapore. The two seaters were to be delivere by late
1978, 15 single-seaters at two-a-month starting from January 1979 and
the final three (attrition aircrafts) in December 1979.
Northrop F-5E serial 800 on a
The first batch of 2 Northrop F-5E and 3 Northrop F-5F arrived at Tengah AB on 22-02-79 on board an Lockheed C-5A Galaxy, two other batches followed the
same way, delivery was completed by
Instructor pilots converted to the new aircraft at Luke AFB (USA) with the 425th Squadron, including live-firing exercises.
The sale of additional 6 Northrop F-5E was notified to the US Congress in July 1980, contract valued at approximately USD 33.8m including spares.
These aircrafts figured some improvements, like an
extended dorsal fin,
wing leading edge and the "sharkmouth" nose; they were delivered
Purchase of three more Northrop F-5F followed in 1982, costing USD 16.3m.
These were air-delivered in February 1983 via the Atlantic Sea (8 days, US pilots) and the Middle East (8 days), a journey
through 16 countries and 14'800 km long; Singaporean pilots took-over
the aircrafts at RAF Leuchars (UK) and flew them home via France, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar,
Oman, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand and Malaysia.
Lockheed KC-130H was delivered in 1984, followed by four Lockheed
C-130B converted in 1985/1986 to KC-130B air-refuellers in order to
enable the in-flight transfer, mainly to exercise in Australia,
of the Northrop F-5s (and STAe A-4).
Another 6 Northrop F-5E were delivered in 1985. These participated in mid-November of this year to a Red Flag exercise at Nellis AFB before being flown home via the same route, five immediately after the
exercise, one at the beginning of December.
Northrop F-5E serials 838 and 841 transiting Prestwick (UK) on 19-11-85.
Northrop F-5F serial 861 seen at Prestwick (UK) on delivery on 06-12-87
Photos: Archive The F-5 Enthusiast
1987 saw the commission of of the Flight Simulation Center with an F-5
air combat simulator at Paya Lebar AB, one of the best in South East
Asia, extensively used by the Air Forces of Malaysia and
Indonesia. By April 2010 there were four simulators at Paya Lebar AB.
A batch of 5 additional Northrop F-5E
were received in 1989. These were built from stock parts, as the
production line had already closed down, again
air-delivered via the Atlantic route. This brought the
of 35/36 single- and 9 double-seaters.
Northrop F-5E serial 870 partially painted at Mojave photographed in November 1988.
Photo: Charles R. Stewart
Primary role of these aircrafts was air defence, armament including Raytheon AIM-9P Sidewinder (which have supplanted the AIM-9J version), followed by strike.
For this last role Hughes AGM-65A Maverick
were acquired, plus Mk 82
500lbs bombs and LAU-60/A and -68/A rocket launchers.
Three Northrop F-5E seen on simultanous take-off at
Paya Leabar AFB, note no air-refuelling probe
By 1990 Singapore had a supporting Northop F-5 unit at Clark AFB (Philippines), with crews being supplied in a rotation system.
acquisition were seven former Jordanian AF Northrop F-5Es, bought in
1994. These were probably directly modified to STAe/Northrop F-5S standa5d.
New main air-defence fighter
of the STAe/Northrop F-5S as the main Singaporean fighter came with the
progressive establishment, between August 1998 and 2004, of three General Dynamics
initially armed with the F-16A and F-16B version, later with General
Dynamics F-16C and F-16D Block 52+ versions, though the updated Northrop fighter still
remained a very important
pillar in Combat Air Patrols, sweep and escort missions and
interception of hostile aircrafts.
Aircrafts were originally delivered in a three-tone grey camouflage
scheme. Beginning 1995 repainting in a two-tone grey scheme
(similar to local F-16s) started, to be completed by late 1996 on
to 149 Squadron.
Various experimental colours were applied on some aircrafts during the
1980s/early 90s. They included a 3-tone blue, an early SEA camouflage and one
Northrop F-5E in an early 1983 SEA camouflage in a line-up with standard camouflaged aircrafts
seen Australia in 1983
STAe/Northrop F-5S 834 with AIM-9P Sidewinder Photo:
Northrop F-5S in the latest colours armed with TV-guided AGM-6B (port) and AGM-6D (starboard side)
Photo: Roy Choo
30 years in service - Withdrawal from use
According an USA source there were 49 aircrafts in service in 2004. Final Northrop F-5S/T were retired by August 2015.
Photo: Kelvin Loh
Northrop F-5T seen in September 2009 in Tiger colours, 30 years anniversary of use
Detail of the tiger
years Head painted on tail of the last single- and double-seaters (serials 853 and 819) in use.