Credit: Roundels of the world
Last update 29-09-2017
only Marines Northrop F-5 equipped Squadron has been the VMFT-401 based
at NAS Yuma (a reserve unit mainly manned by reservists), originally attached to the Marine Aircraft Wing 4 (MAW-4).
The Squadron was transferred to Marine Aircraft Group 46 (MAG-46) by 01-10-97, being transferred to the MAG-41 in June 2009 due to the dissolution of MAG-46.
Photo: US Marines
F-5E BuN 160784 (in 11-94) with its fiercest opponent: the Grumman F-14A -10-94 Photo: US Navy
Fighter Training Squadron 401 (VFMT-401) "Snipers"
The exact equipment was as follows: 01-10-88 13 F-21A Kfir/ 01-10-89 12
Northrop F-5E, 1 Northrop F-5F attached to Marine Air Wing 4. The
equipment remained the same till 01-10-98 as well as (at least) till
A change of command happend on 01-10-97 when the unit was
attached to Marine Air Group 46, always at Yuma.
Northop f-5E serial 7300881 in unusual dark green/brown/sand colours in September 1998 Sand/brown tiger coloured serial 73885 NAS Yuma 19-11-03.
June 30th, 2004 saw the arrival of the first modified ex Swiss AF Northrop F-5N; it was foreseen to have a strength of 13 Northrop F-5N and keep them operational till 2020.
By 1995 it had accumulated 35'000 flight hours and 31'000 sorties without accidents, an 74 percent mission capable rate was reached in
1996; between 05-10-95 and 2006 it had flown another 47'000
40'000 sorties accident free; by 2002 the Squadron deployed to other bases 3 to 6 times a year and participated to 16 to 20 individual training exercises, logging about 3'900 flight hours during approximately 4'700
sorties; 50'000 flight hours, accident free, were reached by July 2010.
As an additional activity by two VMFT-401 crews has been excerciting with Moroccan pilots, teaching them air-refuelling between September 10th and 21st 2007 during exercises "African Lion" .
The aircrafts are painted in a wide variety of paint schemes; about 20 pilots include active duty, active and part-time reservists.
problem with the Northrop F-5 is that the aircraft is inferior to
modern-day fighters; it is often at a disadvantage in maneuverability
and onboard systems capability, making pilots' experience
These try to force trainee to make mistakes and learn to fight from the mistake.
The first of former Swiss Northrop F-5N was delivered on 30-06-04, (2 in 2003) totalling 9 aircrcrafts by 2005; one Northrop F-5F and 11 Northrop
F-5N were foreseen to be in service during Fiscal Year 2013
(replacing old aircrafts one-by-one) to partially improve the situation, keeping the new aircrafts in service till 2020. The earlier version Northrop F-5E was retired to various museums.
Photo: unknownNorthrop F-5F 761586/00 with special tail colours and inscription Squadron call sign