U.S. plans to buy 22 aging F-5 fighter jets from Switzerland

US plans buy F-5 Switzerland
U.S. plans to buy 22 aging F-5 fighter jets from Switzerland.

The US navy is in talks with the Swiss army to buy 22 F-5 Tiger fighter jets to train its pilots in air combat.

According to Bloomberg, the "presidential budget" for 2020 provides for an amount of 40 million dollars to purchase the Swiss aircraft. Armasuisse confirmed that the talks took place last summer, but a contract has not yet been signed. The delivery of the jets could take place in 2021.

The Swiss F-5 Tigers are around 35 years old and their maintenance and storage costs are around half a million Swiss francs a year. In 2008 the US Navy had purchased 44 Tigers to be used as aggressors. Their operational life is now coming to an end.

US Navy buy Swiss F-5
F-5N adversary aircraft belonging to USN VFC-111. (Photo: George Karavantos).

According to US Navy, the Swiss aircraft were manufactured with Improved Handling Quality systems. Their physical differences include a sharper nose, different wing leading edge roots and automatic flaps, giving an increased capability compared to the U.S. F-5Es.

Switzerland had purchased a total of 100 Tigers from the United States, of which 53 remain. Only 26 are currently operational.

Written by Matteo Sanzani