US Navy plans to repatriate, upgrade 22 former Swiss Air Force F-5 fighters

The modernized Tiger IIs to strengthen Navy's Agrressor fleet.

USN F-5N assigned to VFC-111 "Sundowners" at Naval Air Station Key West.

The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) plans to award Tactical Air Support, Inc. (Tactical Air) a five-year contract for the installation of F-5 N/F Capability Upgrade (Block Upgrade program), modification, and overhaul as part of the F-5N+/F+ Avionics Reconfiguration and Tactical Enhancement/Modernization for Inventory Standardization (ARTEMIS) program. The sole source contract is expected to be finalized in 2nd quarter FY 21.

Tactical Air is the only known source for integration of the Block Upgrade Program, to include kit procurements, into the ARTEMIS F-5 aircraft and is capable of performance during this ordering period without an unacceptable delay in aircraft delivery to the Fleet.  

ARTEMIS aircraft are currently in a non-flyable/preserved status which requires grouping block upgrade system integration, modifications and, aircraft, engine overhaul. Grouping these efforts will eliminate duplication of efforts, specifically aircraft/engine build-up and tear down, procurement of obsolete weapons replacement assemblies and the requirement for multiple functional check flights. As a result, the program will be more efficient resulting in shortened turnaround times and significant reduction in risk to the U.S. Government ensuring current readiness requirements are met.

Navy contract F5 upgrade artemis

The ARTEMIS program will repatriate sixteen F-5E and six F-5F Tiger II aircraft and associated forty-four engines previously owned by the Government of the Swiss Confederation (SAF). As part of repatriation, these aircraft will require integration of the Block Upgrade Program and all associated pre-requisite technical directives, re-baseline of repatriated aircraft for all Phased Depot Maintenance (PDM) tasks and coincident repairs, completion of 1,800 hour engine inspection, and completion of J85-21B to J85-21C engine conversion.

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Source: NAVAIR
Photo Credit: George Karavantos