Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Iranian F-5 story, Part 1

In The Name Of God

Iran was the first country to receive the Northrop F-5 Freedom fighter. The initial bath of F-5A/Bs arrives Tehran in February 1965, and the first Imperial Iranian Air Force unit became operational four months later. Eventually, Iran took delivery of 104 F-5As and 23 F-Bs, as well as up to 20 of the RF-5A reconnaissance version. However, form January 1974 the Freedom fighters were replaced by 141 F-5E and 28 F-5F Tiger2s, and during the 1980s, when Iran was at war with Iraq, further F-5A/Es were acquired from Ethiopia and Vietnam.

The F-5 Tiger served as the workhorse of the Islamic republic of Iran Air Force during war with Iraq, especially on close Air support missions, and this active participation cost Iran at least 110 F-5s to enemy and friendly fire, mostly leading to death of their pilots. However the 17 air to air kills attributed to the tiger include a mig-25PD already damaged by an F-14, two Su-20s and six helicopters.

After the end of war Iran started rebuilding many damaged aircraft. the IRIF also completed as effort to equip a few of its F-5E/Fs with detachable in-flight refuelling equipment, for training purposes.

the above information is obtained by www.airforcesmonthly.com


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