|F-5A Freedom Fighter||F-5A PUFF|
|Variant(s)||F-5A Freedom Fighter|
|Armor||Front 0 / Side 0 / Rear 0 / Top 0|
|Air Detection||Very Good|
|Fuel Capacity||3000 L|
|Type||Airborne, Mechanized, Armored, Motorized, Support|
|Autocannon||Twin Pontiac M39A2 (20mm)|
|SEAD||AGM-45 Shrike (Radar)|
|AAM||AIM-9L Sidewinder (IR)|
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 Norwegian F-5A's received a series of upgrades across their service, to include compatibility with guided air-to-surface missiles (such as Maverick and Shrike), the installation of ECM systems, and improvements to avionics. The F-5A PUFF is a SEAD capable variant.
The F-5A PUFF is a SEAD aircraft available to Norwegian and BLUFOR decks. Carrying a mix of air-to-air and air-to-ground weaponry, the F-5A PUFF is able to attack helicopters or fighters with its pair of AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles and twin 20mm cannons. Its primary role, SEAD, is accomplished with a pair of AGM-45B Shrike missiles. The F-5A PUFF gives commanders inexpensive multi-role capabilities. The main drawbacks of the PUFF are its lack of long range air-to-air missiles, making it vulnerable to enemy fighters, and its 30% ECM - normally this number would be good, but given the PUFF's primary role as a SEAD platform, is a little bit low to be dueling with SAM sites.