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und Fliegerabwehr Truppen
Aviation and Antaircraft Troops - till 31-12-95
Schweizer Luftwaffe / Forces Aériennes Suisse / Forze aeree svizzere
Swiss Air Force - from 01-01-96
Credit: Roundels of the world
Last update 08-07-2020
|COLD WAR ERA|
Swiss sky was the
main peace-time duty during
the cold war era.
This was mainly performed by
checking civilian aircrafts
straying into Switzerland, like
the Balkan AL Tupolev Tu -134
shown here on 18-11-83; its
flightplan had not been sub-
mitted; it was intercepted
within 5 minutes from entering
Swiss territory by one Düben-
dorf AB based Northrop F-5E
and one Mirage IIIRS from the
An additional duty was to help
civilian aircrafts in distress.
Photo © Swiss AF
experimental/test aircraft was the first Swiss built aircraft, serial
J-3001, which, among many other tests, experimented the BAP-100
anti-runway bomb in Switzerland, without follow-up. Aircraft serial
J-3079 was also used as a back-up.
Studies on electromagnetic impulses caused by an atomic explosion were realised at Spiez staring from September 1987 on a rig-mounted Northrop F-5E (serial J-3087). The aircraft had fully laden tanks, running engines and the pilot in the cockpit during the tests.
In May 1982 three USAF Aggressor
pilots from the 527 Squadron spent a week and in xxxxx Israeli pilots trained at Payerne AB together with Swiss Tiger pilots.
last Dübendorf AB held competition was in August 1995, Emmen AB
hosting the competition from the following year in
a much smaller frame,
as Swiss Air Force Competition, being held for the last time in
Highway emergency strips exercises
Highways were used in Switzerland as emergency recovery strips. Exercises started in 1970, at the time with de Havilland Venoms, later with Hawker Hunters and Northrop F-5s.
Pilots from Aviation Regiment 2 drove the first Tigers (single- and doubleseaters) participating to exercise code named "Tauto" in 1982, on March 24th, with 15 aircrafts (together with 12 Haker Hunter) landing and taking-offs on an emergency strip near Münsingen. This strip was particularly challenging as the aircrafts had to pass under an roadbridge having a clearance of only 70 cm!
Northrop F-5F J-3206 depicted shortly after passing a curve near Münsingen on 24-03-82, a foggy day.
The next edition of "Tauto" was held on 15-10-85 on an strip near Flums by 12 Northrop F-5s coming from Alpnach AB (flown by pilots of the Aviation Regiment 3) and 12 Hawker Hunters Mk58/58A.
Photo: F Wegmann
Line-up on an emerency strip near Flums on 15-10-85, seen for a bridge over the strip
participated only to three additional exercises: the first code named
on 29-09-88 when 12 Alpnach AB based Tigers took off from a nearby
highway strip; 8 Alpnach AB based Tigers participated to
on 16-11-88 on a strip near Sion AB.
The last highway exercise, named again "Tauto" was on 14-11-91 near Lodrino AB with the participation of Alpnach AB based Tigers and Mollis AB based Hawker Hunter; aircrafts took off from the strip after having landed at Lodrino AB and having been towed to the highway.
Sweden - exercise Tikas (Tiefflugkampagne Schweden)
Vidsel was utilised for the second time between March 24th and June 1981, this time by 2 Dübendorf based Northrop F-5E and 2 GAMD Mirage IIIS. Live ammunition firings, missile tests, employment tactics and operational readiness were tested.
1991Last Northrop F-5 deployment to Sweden, lasting three months from mid-March, with the partici- pation of two single-, 1 two-seaters Tigers and 2 GAMD Mirage IIIS; AGM-58B Mavericks air-to-ground missiles were launched, Swiss modified AIM-9-P4 Sidewinder were tested against Beech MQM-107 drones as well as air-to-air shooting against targets towed by Swedish Saab J-32B was exercised.
Northrop F-5E J-3055 and J-3097 in company of 2 Swiss Mirage IIIs on an
electronic warfare excercise with Saab J-37E serial 04/13 Wing.
Photo: Peter Liander
Only Northrop F-5F J-3211 with AGM-58B Mavericks
under the wings on a test flight from Vidsel AB in 1991.
Photo © Swiss AF
COMBAT EXERCISES ABROAD
- SAKA (SArdinia KAmpagne) campaigns
Deployment details are as follows:
Next round was between 18-08-86 and 30-09-86; 4 Northrop F-5E and 3 F-5F were present together
with 6 Mirage IIIS and 1 Mirage IIIDS.
This deployment , from mid-June till July 6th, was slightly bigger: 5 Northrop F-5E, 3 F-5F and 7 Mirage IIIS, 1 Mirage IIIDS.
Badge painted undernose on aircrafts having participated to SAKA 87
Northrop F-5E J-3045 at Decimomannu on 03-07-87; on wingtip a training Sidewinder with an active head.
Photo: Friedrich Becker
Photo: Friedrich Becker
Northrop F-5F J-3207 at Decimomannu AB on 12-06-87, ACMI pod on the wingtip
Eight single- and two two-seater Tigers participated between 10-06-88 and 04-07-88 together
with five Mirage IIIS and 1 Miraged IIIDS to this edition.
Decimomannu hosted between 16-06-89 and 03-07-89 seven Northrop F-5E, three F-5F and five Mirage IIIS.
This exercise was set for June 1990, but was cancelled and replaced by NORKA 1990 at RAF Waddington (see below)
|POST COLD WAR ERA|
TRIALS AND TRAININGS
Trials were conducted during the 1992/93 repetition courses of the militia Squadron 8 and professional Squadron 1 to use Northrop F-5Es as fighter-bomber using dummy bombs, rockets and AGM-95B Mavericks, but the idea to operate two Squadrons in this speciality was not pursued due to financial restrictions and partial aircraft unsuitability.
Electronic warfare training,
originally carried out by two Haker Hunter T.68, was taken over by
two-seater Tigers equipped with Ericsson H/I band A100 Vista 5 system
PC-9 from 1994 with the same system.
Target towing for ground- and air-to-air gunnery was performed by Hawker Hunter Mk.58/Mk.58A till their definitive retirement in 1994. The Northrop F-5E was chosen as a successor, utilising the remaining of 10 Saab MBV-2S Dart Target that uses a 500m cable to tow an orange target, equipped with a microphone to send information on the number of hits to the towing aircraft for data analyses. Tests were done between February and the autumn of 1997 from Meiringen AB on two aircrafts, a total of 4 being later equipped with the system.
Improved communication, at the same level as the newly bought McDonnell F-18s, was reached with the installation of Have-Quick 1 technology radios during the year 2000.
- NORKA campaigns (NORdsee KAmpagne)
of Tiger participation are as follows:
F-5E, three F-5F and five Mirage IIIS went to RAF Waddington on
04-10-91 for a successful
Northrop F-5F J-3203 with ACMI wing pod at Waddington on 08-06-94
single-, 4 double-seater F-5s and 6 Mirage IIIS left Payerne AB on
June 9th to participate
aircrafts remained a few days longer in UK to participate
to the Mildenhall Air Fete on 25-05-96; they are depicted hereunder. Of note the red under fuselage
tank on the tarmac,
Photo: P. Nicholson
exercises was from 12-05-97 till 02-06-97 with 8 F-5E, 4F-5F;
one additional single-
Four single- and two double-seater came to Waddington for the exercise from 01-06-99 till 18-06-99;
6 McDonnel F/A-18C and 2 F/A-18D were also present.
They exercised with RAF, Royal Navy and R. Netherlands AF aircrafts.
Photo: unknown Northrop F-5F J-3012 landing at RAF Waddington on 11-06-99
Photo: Thomas Soder
Northrop J-3092 with ACMI pod on left wingtip at Sion 28-10-12
A particular joynt training, and the first one, had been the hosting at the beginning of 1979 of two Israel pilots on approximately 20 Northrop F-5F and Mirage IIIBS combat flights; this arised serious diplomatic protests by Arab diplomats.
Neutral Austria was another destination for exercises: Zeltweg AB housed between May 16th and 20th 1994 three F-5s on exercises against local Saab-35Ö.
The same exercise took place (again based at Zeltweg AB, but mainly against Saab J-35) one year later, from 16-08-95 till 25-08-95, with the participation of 2 single- and 2 double-seaters.
between the two
Photo: Austrian AF/Zinner
Four French Alpha Jets of ETO 02.008 "Nice" came to Sion AB between the 14th and the 16th September 2004 for a visit to the local flying school, training together with 8 Northrop F-5E and F-5Fs. Four Northrop F-5F double-seaters went to Cazaux between the 3rd and the 5th November 2004, reciprocating the French visit.
Training took place at the end of November 2005 between 9 Northrop F-5s (from Staffel/Squadron 6), 10 McConnell F/A-18s and 2 French GAMD 2000.
Five Northrop F-5F visited Cazaux AB advance training base between the 1st and April 4th 2008 following a visit of three Alpha Jet from 11-03-08 till 14-03-08 to Sion AB.
participated with 1 Northrop F-5F and 5 McDonnell F/A-18C to the
Electonic Warfare Live
Dissimilar air combat training between Tigers and Tigers and McDonnel F/A-18s is regularly held, while a well known exercise is the yearly (October) shooting against ground targets at the Axalp shooting range by Northrop F-5 (plus Patrouille Suisse exhibition), McDonnel F/A-18.
Photo: Kristof Jonckheere
Northrop F-5E J-3041 at the Axalp range firing a burst 10-10-03; smoke is just visible coming out of the 20mm cannons.
of the air over Switzerland has
Photo © Swiss AF
exercises in Switzerland
All training restrictions were finally dropped with the fall of the iron-courtain from 1990 and the Swiss participation to the NATO Partnership for Peace programme from December 1996.
The first in-country international exercise took place between 30-03-98 and 02-04-98 in collaboration with the French AF. Northrop F-5E from Staffel 6, based at Turtmann AB, acted as aggressors operating over bordering French territory in conjunction with Mirage IIIRS reconnaisance aircrafts; in addition, McDonnell Douglas F-18C and Hawks intercepted an important number of Armée de l'Air Mirage F.1Rs, Mirage F.1Ts, Mirage 2000Ds, Jaguars undertaking reconnaissance and ground-attack flights.
The exercise took again place at Payerne AB in 2010; again Swiss McDonnell F-18C and Northrop F-5E/Fs exercised against 4 Mirage 2000-5F and 1 Mirage 2000B.
Additional French guests in Switzerland (Payerne AB) were two Mirage 2000 from Dijon and four from Orange end November 2005. There were even intensive air combats, seeing Mirage 2000 fighting alternatively against 10 McDonnel Douglas F-18C or 9 Northrop F-5s.
Northrop F-5s, together with Pilatus PC-9 and helicotpers EC635, participated during this year to the Army exercise as targets in favour of anti-aircrafts missile troops on 24/25 and 38/29/30 September; no live ammunition was used during the exercise.
SWISS AIRPACE CONTROL / NO-FLY ZONE ENFORCEMENT
Switzerland gave unlimited clearance in 1995/96, for the first time in its history as a neutral country, for NATO transports and tankers overflights of its airspace. Northrop F-5E randomly intercepted some of the aircrafts to confirm their identity under internationally accepted procedures.
World Economic Forum (WEF) / Davos
This Forum reunits at Davos (Southern Switzerland) representatives of many governments, as well as representatives of the economy world, in January each year. A no-fly zone, under control of the Swiss and Austrian AF, is established each year since 2003 to avoid terroristic attacks from the air.
Swiss Northrop F-5E have supported the all-weather McDonnel F-18s and operate daylight missions (between 0800 and 1800hrs) since 2005 with live ammunition, armed guns and live, white painted, AIM-9-P-5 Sidewinders. This is the only moment that Swiss fighters fly with live, armed cannons and missiles. All weather/night, as well as daylight operations are flown by McDonnell F/A-18C; Pilatus PC-7 take care of slow, low flying aircrafts. The Tigers have operated from Meiringen AB (2005/08/10/13), Payerne AB (2007/11), Sion AB (2006/09/12/14).
Badge WEF 2012
J-3076 at Sion AB on
Photo © Swiss AF