Iran now capable of overhauling and modifying F-5 Freedom fighter jet
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 23 /Trend S.Isayev, T. Jafarov/
Iran is now capable of overhauling such fighter jets as MiG-29, F-14 Tomcat and F-5 Freedom Fighter, Commander of Iranian Second Destroyer Jet base, Masud Ruzxosh said, Mehr reported.
Ruzxosh noted that it took Iran 12 years to do a complete overhaul on the F-5 Fighter jet. He said the jet will be able to fly again in three months, admitting that the jet will not handle any long flights.
"It would have been easier to manufacture a new jet, instead of modifying and reparing this one," Ruzxosh said. "However, with the imposed sanctions, country's engineers managed to overhaul the F-5 Jet".
The Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter and the F-5E/F Tiger II are part of a family of widely-used light supersonic fighter aircraft, designed and built by Northrop. Hundreds remain in service in air forces around the world in the early 21st century, and the type has also been the basis for a number of other aircraft.
The Imperial Iranian Air Force received extensive US equipment in the 1960s and 1970s. Iran received its first 11 F-5A and two F-5Bs in February 1965 which were then declared operational in June 1965.
Ultimately, Iran received 104 F-5A and 23 F-5Bs by 1972. From January 1974 with the first squadron of 28 F-5Fs, Iran received a total of 166 F-5E/F and 15 additional RF-5Es with deliveries ending in 1976. While receiving the F-5E and F, Iran began to sell its F-5A and B inventory to other countries, including Ethiopia, Turkey, Greece and South Vietnam; by 1976, many had been sold, except for several F-5Bs retained for training purposes.
After the revolution, the new Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force was partially successful keeping Western fighters in service during the war with Iraq in the 1980s and the simple F-5 had a good service readiness until late in the war. Initially Iran took spare parts from foreign sources, later it was able to have its new aircraft industry keep the aircraft flying. Iran currently produces an indigenous aircraft titled, "Saegeh", which is built on the same platform as the F-5.