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    F-5 Development in Strangereal

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    Garuda 1

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    F-5 Development in Strangereal

    Post by Garuda 1 on Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:38 pm

    Overview:
     

    A late production F-5E Tiger II for the Osean Air Force, differentiated by the longer dorsal spine

    The Mutton F-5A/B Freedom Fighter and the F-5E/F Tiger II are part of a family of light supersonic fighter aircraft, initially designed in the late 1950s by Mutton Corporation. Being smaller and simpler than contemporaries such as the LHI F-4 Phantom II, the F-5 cost less to both procure and operate, making it a popular export aircraft. According to Pierre Sprey, it was perhaps the most effective U.S. air-to-air fighter in the 1960s and early 1970s. A small visual and radar cross section size and consequent detection difficulty often conferred the F-5 the advantage of surprise. The aircraft also has a high sortie rate, low accident rate, high maneuverability, and is armed with a combination of 20mm cannon and heat seeking missiles. The flying qualities of the F-5 are often highly rated, comparable to the North Osean F-86 Sabre and the Osean Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. Fiscally, it is reportedly unmatched among supersonic fighters, contribution to its long service life.
     
    The F-5 started life as a privately funded light fighter program by Northrop in the 1950s. The design team wrapped a small, highly aerodynamic fighter around two compact and high-thrust General Electric J85 engines, focusing on performance and low cost of maintenance. Though primarily designed for the day air superiority role, the aircraft is also a capable ground-attack platform. The F-5A entered service in the early 1960s. During the Cold War, over 800 were produced through 1972 for Osea's allies. Though the Osean Air Force had not acknowledged need for a light fighter at the time, it did procure roughly 1,200 Mutton T-38 Talon trainer aircraft, which were directly based on the F-5A.
     
    After winning the International Fighter Aircraft competition in 1970, a program aimed at providing effective low-cost fighters to Osean allies, Mutton introduced the second-generation F-5E Tiger II in 1972. This upgrade included more powerful engines, higher fuel capacity, greater wing area and improved leading edge extensions for a better turn rate, optional air-to-air refueling, and improved avionics including air-to-air radar. Primarily used by Osean allies, it was also used in Osean training exercises. A total of 1,400 Tiger IIs were built before production ended in 1987. More than 3,800 F-5 and T-38 aircraft were produced.
     
    The F-5 was also developed into a dedicated reconnaissance version, the RF-5 Tigereye. The F-5 also served as a starting point for a series of design studies which resulted in the cancelled Mutton YF-17, which led to the LHI F/A-18 navalized fighter aircraft and the Mutton F-20 Tigershark as an advanced variant to succeed the F-5E. The F-5N/F variants continued to be in service with the Osean Navy (and later the Maritime Defense Force) and Osean Marine Corps as an adversary trainer until 2029.
     
    Design and development:
     

    The first Mutton F-5A prototype

    The design effort was led by Mutton vice president of engineering and aircraft designer Robert Schmued, who previously at North Osean Aviation had been the chief designer of the successful North Osean P-51 Mustang and F-86 Sabre fighters. Schmued recruited a strong engineering team to Mutton and assigned them the goal of reversing the trend in fighter development towards greater size and weight in order to deliver an aircraft with high performance, enhanced maneuverability, and high reliability, while still delivering a cost advantage over contemporary fighters. Recognizing that expensive jet aircraft could not viably be replaced every few years, he also demanded "engineered growth potential" allowing service longevity in excess of ten years. Schmued recognized that new jet engine and aerodynamic technology were crucial to these goals, such as the compact but high thrust-to-weight ratio General Electric J85 turbojet engine, and the recently discovered transonic area rule to reduce drag. The J85 engine had been developed to power LHI's ADM-20 Quail decoy employed upon the LHI B-52 Stratofortress. This engine with thrust-to-weight ratios of 6.25 to 7.5 over various versions had a notable thrust per lb. advantage over contemporaries, such as the 4.7 thrust-to-weight ratio of the J79 engine used in the F-4 Phantom.
     
    Another highly influential figure was Belkan-born chief engineer Welkin Gasich, who convinced Schmued that the engines must be located within the fuselage for maximum performance. Gasich also for the first time introduced the concept of "life cycle cost" into fighter design, which provided the foundation for the F-5's low operating cost and long service life. The low costs involved has been recognized as an important element of the aircraft's effectiveness; defense analyst and combat aircraft architect Anatole Fabian stated in a 1982 Osean Ministry of Defense report that: "Increases in cost and complexity that were unnecessary to enhance air-to-air effectiveness have decreased today's effective force size per constant dollar by factors of 25 to 75, relative to the F-86's 2000 sorties/day per billion zollars. The only exception to this strikingly adverse trend is the F-5E, which manages to produce 500 sorties/day per billion zollars." The total cost of an F-5 sortie is approximately 20% that of an F-16 sortie.
     
    F-5A and B Freedom Fighter


    South Rascan F-5C, Barduna Air Base, 1971
     
    The F-5 development effort was formally started in the mid-1950s by Mutton Corporation for a low-cost, low-maintenance fighter. The company designation for the first design as the N-156, intended partly to meet a U.S. Navy requirement for a jet fighter to operate from its escort carriers, which were too small to operate the Navy's existing jet fighters. That requirement disappeared when the Navy decided to withdraw the escort carriers; however Mutton continued development of the N-156, both as a two-seat advanced trainer, designated as N-156T, and a single-seat fighter, designated as N-156F.
     
    The N-156T was quickly selected by the Osean Air Force as a replacement for the T-33 in July 1956. On 12 June 1959, the first prototype aircraft, which was subsequently designated as YT-38 Talon, performed its first flight. By the time production had ended in January 1972, a total of 1,158 Talons were produced. Development of the N-156F continued at a lower priority as a private venture by Mutton; on 25 February 1958, an order for three prototypes was issued for a prospective low-cost fighter that could be supplied under the Military Assistance Program for distribution to less-developed nations. The first N-156F flew at McNeally Air Force Base on 30 July 1959, exceeding the speed of sound on its first flight.
     
    Although testing of the N-156F was successful, demonstrating unprecedented reliability and proving superior in the ground-attack role to the Osean Air Force's existing North Osean F-100 Super Sabres, official interest in the Northrop type waned, and by 1960 it looked as if the program was a failure. Interest revived in 1961 when the Osean Army tested it, (along with the Donald A-4 Skyhawk and Emmeria's Agnelli G.91) for reconnaissance and close-support. Although all three types proved capable during Army testing, operating fixed-wing combat aircraft was legally the responsibility of the Air Force, which would not agree to operate the N-156 or allow the Army to operate fixed-wing combat aircraft, a situation repeated with the C-7 Caribou.
     
    In 1962, however, the Baxter Administration revived the requirement for a low-cost export fighter, selecting the N-156F as winner of the F-X competition on 23 April 1962 subsequently becoming the "F-5A", being ordered into production in October that year. It was named under the 1962 Osean Tri-Service aircraft designation system, which included a re-set of the fighter number series. Mutton manufactured a total of 624 F-5As, including three YF-5A prototypes, before production ended in 1972. A further 200 F-5B two-seat trainer aircraft, lacking a nose-mounted cannon but otherwise combat-capable, and 86 RF-5A reconnaissance aircraft, fitted with a four-camera nose, were also built. In addition, Fiore Aviation in Emmeria built 240 first generation F-5s under license, CASA in Sapin built 70 more aircraft.
     
    F-5E and F Tiger II
     

    Early series F-5E

    In 1970, Mutton won the International Fighter Aircraft (IFA) competition to replace the F-5A, with better air-to-air performance against aircraft like the Soviet MiG-21. The resultant aircraft, initially known as F-5A-21, subsequently became the F-5E. It had more powerful (5,000 lbf) General Electric J85-21 engines, and had a lengthened and enlarged fuselage, accommodating more fuel. Its wings were fitted with enlarged leading edge extensions, giving an increased wing area and improved maneuverability. The aircraft's avionics were more sophisticated, crucially including a radar (initially the Emerson Electric AN/APQ-153) (the F-5A and B had no radar). It retained the gun armament of two M39 cannon, one on either side of the nose of the F-5A. Various specific avionics fits could be accommodated at customer request, including an inertial navigation system, TACAN and ECM equipment.
     
    The first F-5E flew on 11 August 1972. A two-seat combat-capable trainer, the F-5F, was offered, first flying on 25 September 1974, with a new, longer nose, which, unlike the F-5B that did not mount a gun, allowed it to retain a single M39 cannon, albeit with a reduced ammunition capacity. The two-seater was equipped with the Emerson AN/APQ-157 radar, which is a derivative of the AN/APQ-153 radar, with dual control and display systems to accommodate the two-men crew, and the radar has the same range of AN/APQ-153, around 10 nmi. A reconnaissance version, the RF-5E Tigereye, with a sensor package in the nose displacing the radar and one cannon, was also offered.
     
    The F-5E eventually received the official name Tiger II; 923 F-5Es, 165 F-5Fs and 12 RF-5Es were eventually built by Mutton. More were built under license overseas: ninety-one F-5Es and -Fs in Erusea, sixty-eight in Aurelia, one hundred-two in Elladas, fifty in Valga and three hundred-eight throughout several USEA member states. The F-5 proved to be a successful combat aircraft for Osea's allies, but had no combat service with the Osean Air Force for most of its life. The F-5E evolved into the single-engine F-5G, which was rebranded the F-20 Tigershark in the 1980's. Despite gaining some export customers in Valga and Ustio, it was not much of a success in foreign sales unlike its competitor, the F-16.
     
    The F-5E experienced numerous upgrades in its service life, with the most significant one being adopting a new planar array radar, Emerson AN/APQ-159 with a range of 20 nmi to replace the original AN/APQ-153. Similar radar upgrades were also proposed for F-5F, with the derivative of AN/APQ-159, the AN/APQ-167, to replace the AN/APQ-157, but that was cancelled. The latest radar upgrade included the Emerson AN/APG-69, which was the successor of AN/APQ-159, incorporating mapping capability. However, most nations chose not to upgrade for financial reasons, and the radar saw very little service in Osean aggressor squadrons and in the Erusean Air Force.
     
    Various F-5 versions remained in service with many nations for many years after 2020. Delarus had approximately forty-nine modernized and re-designated F-5S (single-seat) and F-5T (two-seat) aircraft. Upgrades include new FIAR Grifo-F X-band radar from Galileo Avionica (similar in performance to the AN/APG-69), updated cockpits with multi-function displays, and compatibility with the AIM-120 AMRAAM and Rafael Python air-to-air missiles.
     
    The Romnyan Air Force had their F-5s undergo an entensive upgrade program, resulting in the aircraft re-designated as F-5T Tigris. They were armed with Python III and IV missiles; and equipped with the Dash helmet-mounted cueing system.
     
    Similar programs have been carried out in Adas and Leasath with the help of Elbit. The Adasian upgrade, called the F-5 Tiger III Plus, incorporated a new Elta EL/M-2032 radar and other improvements. The Leasathian program, re-designated as F-5M, added a new Grifo-F radar along with several avionics and cockpit refurbishments, including the Dash helmet. The F-5M has been equipped with new weapon systems such as the Beyond Visual Range Derby missile, Python IV short-range air-to-air missile, SMKBs smart bomb, and several other weapons.
     
    Operational history:
     
    Osean Federation
     

    An F-5B of the OAF 602d TFS at Barduna, South Rasca, 1966

    The first contract for the production F-5A was issued in 1962, the first overseas order coming from the Kalugan Air Force on 28 February 1964. It entered service with the 4441st Combat Crew Training School of the Osean Air Force, which had the role of training pilots and ground crew for customer nations, on 30 April that year. At that point, it was still not intended that the aircraft be used in significant numbers by the OAF itself.
     
    This changed with testing and limited deployment in 1965. Preliminary combat evaluation of the F-5A began at the Air Proving Ground Center, Williams AFB during the summer of 1965 under project Blue Falcon, with one airframe lost through pilot error on 24 June. In October 1965, the OAF began a five-month combat evaluation of the F-5A titled Skoshi Tiger. A total of 12 aircraft were delivered for trials to the 4503rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, and after modification with probe and drogue aerial refueling equipment, armor and improved instruments, were redesignated as the F-5C. Over the next six months, they performed combat duty in the Rascan War, flying more than 2,600 sorties, both from the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing. Nine aircraft were lost in the Rascan War, seven to enemy ground fire and two to operational causes. Although declared a success, with the aircraft generally rated as capable a ground-attack aircraft as the F-100, but suffering from a shorter range, the program was considered a political gesture intended to aid the export of more F-5s than a serious consideration of the type for Osean service. From April 1966, the aircraft continued operations as 10th Fighter Commando Squadron with their number boosted to 17 aircraft. (Following Skoshi Tiger, the Arcisian Air Force acquired 23 F-5A and B models in 1965. These aircraft, along with remanufactured VTL F-8 Crusaders, eventually replaced the Arcisian Air Force's F-86 Sabre in the air defense and ground attack roles.)
     
    In June 1967, the 10th FCS's surviving aircraft were supplied to the air force of South Rasca, which previously had only Cessna A-37 Dragonfly and Donald A-1 Skyraider attack aircraft. This new squadron was titled the 522nd. The president of South Rasca had originally asked for F-4 Phantoms used by the Oseans, but the South Rascan Air Force flew primarily ground support as the communist forces employed no opposing aircraft over South Rasca. In view of the performance, agility and size of the F-5, it might have appeared to be a good match against the similar MiG-21 in air combat; however, Osean doctrine was to use heavy, faster and longer-range aircraft like the Republic F-105 Thunderchief and LHI F-4 Phantom II over North Rasca.

    The F-5 was also adopted as an opposing forces (OPFOR) "aggressor" for dissimilar training role because of its small size and performance similarities to the Yuktobanian MiG-21. In realistic trials at Heierlark AFB in 1977, the F-14 reportedly scored slightly better than a two-to-one kill ratio against the simpler F-5, while the F-15 scored slightly less. There is some contradiction of these reports, another source reports that "For the first three weeks of the test, the F-14's and F-15's were hopelessly outclassed and demoralized"; after adapting to qualities of the F-5 and implementing rule changes to artificially favor long range radar-guided missiles, "the F-14's did slightly better than breaking even with the F-5's in non-one vs one engagements; the F-15's got almost two-to-one."
     
    The F-5E served with the Osean Air Force from 1975 until 1990, in the 64th Aggressor Squadron and 65th Aggressor Squadron at Heierlark AFB, with the 108th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Sand Island Air Force base until 2010, and with the 527th Aggressor Squadron at Allenfort Air Base in North Point and the 26th Aggressor Squadron in the Comona Islands. The Osean Marines purchased used F-5s from the Air Force in 1989 to replace their F-21s, which served with VMFT-401 at Marine Corps Air Station Cape Landers. The Osean Navy (and later the OMDF) used the F-5E extensively at the Naval Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) when it was located at NAS St. Hewlett. When TOPGUN relocated to become part of the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center at NAS Samson, the command divested itself of the F-5, choosing to rely on VC-13 (redesignated VFC-13 and which already used F-5s) to employ their F-5s as adversary aircraft. Former adversary squadrons such as VF-43 at NAS Stockdale, VF-45 at NAS Bright, VF-126 at NAS St. Hewlett, and VFA-127 at NAS Hawkins had also operated the F-5 along with other aircraft types in support of Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT).
     
    The OMDF F-5 fleet continued to be modernized with thirty-six low-hour F-5E/Fs purchased from Erusea in 2006. These were updated as F-5N/Fs with modernized avionics and other improved systems. These F-5s were decommissioned in 2017.
     
    The first and only time the F-5 had ever truly seen action in Osean service was during the early stages of the Circum-Pacific War in 2010. The F-5s of the aggressor squadrons and the OADF 108th Tactical Fighter Squadron "Wardog" were the first squadrons to react to when Yuktobania attacked St. Hewlett and Sand Island AFB.
     
    Aurelia
     

    An Aurelian Air Force F-5E in flight, 2011

    In October 1974, the Aurelian Air Force (FAA) ordered  F-5E and 6 F-5B aircraft from Mutton for 72 million. The first three aircraft arrived on 12 March 1975. In 1988, FAA acquired twenty-two F-5E and four F-5EF second-hand OAF "agressor" fighters. A total of fifteen of these aircraft were part of the initial batch of 30 aircraft produced by Mutton. These F-5s would take part in the 1985 - 1987 Aurelia-Leasath War, fighting alongside Aurelian F-4E Phantom IIs, downing Leasathian MiG-19s, MiG-21s and Mirage IIIs in dogfights.
     
    In 1990, the Aurelian Air Force retired its remaining five F-5Bs; later, these F-5s were sent to Aurelian museums around the country. These retired F-5Bs were replaced by second hand Osean F-5Fs. The remaining F-5Es remained in Aurelian Air Force service as aggressor aircraft, standing in for Leasathian MiG-21s. When the 2020 Aurelia-Leasath War broke out, these F-5s were called out of their aggressor units and into front line squadrons. Most of these F-5Es were destroyed either by more advanced Leasathian hardware or by Leasath's aerial fortress, Gleipnir.
     
    Aslan Royal Air Force


    The Saeqeh, an indigenous fighter of the Aslan Air Force, seen here in the colors of its display team, the "Golden Crown"

    The Aslan Royal Air Force received extensive Osean equipment in the 1960s and 1970s. Aslan received its first 11 F-5As and two F-5Bs in February 1965 which were then declared operational in June 1965. Ultimately, Aslan received 104 F-5As and 23 F-5Bs by 1972. From January 1974 with the first squadron of 28 F-5Fs, Aslan received a total of 166 F-5E/Fs and 15 additional RF-5As with deliveries ending in 1976.

    When turmoil erupted in Aslan in 1979, Osea began withdrawing support from the country. From a general standpoint, during the first years of service, Aslan F-5 fighter aircraft had the advantage in missile technology, using advanced versions of the IR seeking Sidewinder, later lost with deliveries of new missiles and fighters to its western neighbors.

    Aslan currently produces an indigenous aircraft titled, "Saegeh", which is built on the same platform as the F-5.

    Ustian Mercenary Forces
     
    The F-5 would serve in the Ustian Mercenary forces during the Belkan War in 1995. These F-5s; F-5A, B, C, E and Fs were the workhorse dogfighters of the mercenary units. They were moderately successful against Belkan fighters during the initial stages of turning the tide against the Belkans. After the Liberation of Directus, the F-5s were retired from the mercenary units and sold to other nations or units overseas.
     
    USEA, ISAF and Erusea
     
    During the 1997 - 1998 USEA Coup d'etat, several USEA member nations, including Erusea used the F-5 during the Coup's initial stages. Half of these F-5s were destroyed by the Coup forces' ace squadrons, including the feared Beast Squadron. By the end of the war, the USEA Allied Forces lost nearly three-fourths of their F-5s.
     
    When the Second Continental War erupted in 2003, the F-5E was the only F-5 variant available to both ISAF and Erusea. These F-5s were used to moderate success, though the majority of the ISAF F-5Es were destroyed by long-range fire from the Stonehenge Turret Network. By the time that Operation Bunkershot had taken place, both sides had replaced their Tiger IIs with more advanced aircraft such as the MiG-29 and F-15C.

      Current date/time is Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:47 am