Aircraft Type Index

Jet Fighter Planes Index



Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter Jet Plane

Designed and built by in the 1960's, the Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter was built for the Kennedy Administration's Military Assistance Program as a low cost fighter for distribution to less-developed nations, the prototype first flew in April 1959 and served with the USAF as a non-front-line light jet fighter until 1990. The Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter has had numerous variants and, as was intended, been used by a large number of smaller friendly air forces throughout the world.

Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter Jet Fighter Plane


It is of note that the Northrop T-38 Talon, the training version of the Freedom Fighter, was the the Worlds first supersonic jet trainer and is used by NASA as a chase aircraft and for astronaut training. It is of interest to note that a vastly re-designed and modernised upgrade of the F-5  Freedom Fighter,  the F-20 Tigershark, was made but never entered production due to political changes in policy.

Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter Specifications:

  • Crew: Pilot only
  • Length: 47 ft 4 in (14.45 m)
  • Wingspan: 26 ft 8 in (8.13 m)
  • Height: 13 ft 4 in (4.08 m)
  • Empty weight: 9,558 lb (4,349 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 24,664 lb (11,187 kg)
  • Engine: Twin 5,000 lbf (22.2 kN) General Electric J85-GE-21B turbojets
  • Maximum speed: 1,060 mph (1,700 km/h, mach 1.6)
  • Combat radius: 760 nm (870 mi, 1,405 km)
  • Service ceiling: 51,800 ft (15,800 m)
  • Rate of climb: 34,400 ft/min (175 m/s)
Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter Armament:
  • Twin 20 mm Pontiac M39A2 cannon

Total of up to 7,000 lb (3,200 kg) of ordnance which may include a combination of the following:

  • AIM-7 Sparrow Missiles
  • AIM-9 Sidewinder Missiles
  • AGM-65 Maverick Missiles
  • AIM-120 AMRAAM Missiles
  • M129 Leaflet bomb
  • 500 lb (225 kg) Mk82 Bombs
  • 2,000 lb (900 kg) Mk84 Bombs
  • CBU-24/49/52/58 cluster Bomb

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