The Northrop F-5A Freedom Fighter is a twin-engine, single-seat, tactical fighter. The F-5A was developed in the late 1950's as a supersonic lightweight fighter, but found little use in American arsenals - the later F-5E Tiger II was employed as a MiG-21 simulator in aggressor squadrons. However, the F-5A and subsequent family saw great success as an export fighter, and was sold to, or license-built in more than 30 countries. The Royal Norwegian Air Force purchased 108 Freedom Fighters, 78 of them F-5A's, as part of a military aid agreement. The first Freedom Fighters arrived in 1966 and served for nearly four decades.
The F-5A Freedom Fighter is an inexpensive light strike platform available to Norwegian and NATO decks. At only 35 points per fighter, the F-5A is an economical platform which may be used to effectively attack lightly armored vehicles and infantry. It carries eight 127mm rockets and two M39A2 20mm cannons, the latter of which allow the F-5A to harass enemy helicopters and provides a small level of defense against fighters. As one might expect, the F-5A is vulnerable to attack by enemy fighters and long range SAMs, having no on-board ECM, or air-to-air missiles. Due to its low cost, these drawbacks are far from prohibitive.
The F-5A Freedom Fighter in Wargame: Red Dragon is a relatively inexpensive light strike platform available to Norwegian and NATO decks. At 50 points per aircraft, the F-5A is more expensive than in AirLand Battle, carries the same loadout and has largely the same characteristics, though its Zuni rockets have slightly less power than in the previous installment. Its benefits and drawbacks are largely the same in Red Dragon as AirLand Battle.