Northrop F-5A Freedom Fighter

The F-5A Freedom Fighter was built by Northrop engineers, who wanted to build a lightweight fighter. This motivation came from the U.S. Air Force’s interest in a ground-attack aircraft. The F-5A entered the service in 1964 and won 85 percent of weapon competitions immediately. Interestingly, it is the first supersonic aircraft tested without accident. The first to buy the F-5A was the Shah of Iran. The appeal was that it could carry a load that was half of its weight, and a crew of 3 could change the engine in 20 minutes. The Northrop F-5A Freedom Fighter entered combat for the first time in Vietnam. They were provided to the South Vietnamese Air Force by the United States through the “Skoshi Tiger” program. F-5A production stopped in 1972, and around two dozen countries had it in their arsenal.