IAI F-5E Plus - The prototype of Israel

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IAI F-5E Plus


On September 25, 1974, the amount of US$ 44,311,859.00 was authorized for the purchase of 18 Northrop F-5 Tiger II aircraft, fifteen units of the single-seat F-5E model and three units of the F-5F Tiger II model. This is due to the context of military purchases from the neighboring country of Peru, which generated a military imbalance in the region. On July 26, 1976, the Chilean Air Force (FACH) received the first F-5s and finalizing the reception of the total quantity at the beginning of 1977. Later, the Kennedy amendment would begin on the part of the United States, which would make it impossible for the Chile the purchase of weapons, modernizations, etc. which would come at the worst time since tensions with the neighboring country of Argentina were getting worse. On December 18, 1978, the Argentine air force violated Chilean airspace, so fearing an attack, a group of F-5Es armed with AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles took off to intercept them, fortunately this would not escalate to greater and the war it would not happen at the moment. In 1987, the Peruvian Air Force acquired the Mirage 2000 and also modernized its Mirage 5P, so that once again the Chilean air force was at a disadvantage. Thus, at the end of the 80s, the “Tiffany” Project was born, which sought to modernize the Chilean F-5 fleet and since at that time the Israeli Aeronautical Industry (I.A.I.) already had contact and good relations with the FACH for the modernization of the Chilean Mirage 50, it was decided to choose the Israeli company for this new modernization referred to by I.A.I as “F-5 Plus”. This is how in 1990 it was agreed that 16 Chilean F-5s would be modernized to the new standard, moving to Israel the F-5E No. 805 and F-5F No. 817 planes to the facilities that the I.A.I maintains at the Ben Gurion airport. These 2 aircraft were used as prototypes for the new standard and the rest of the aircraft would be modernized in Chile under the name of F-5 Tiger III.

Chilean F-5E Tiger II before modernizations

F-5E Plus in Israel before getting its new paint (the Star of David is appreciated)


F-5E Plus next to a Kfir C.2 during tests in Israel

IAI and ENAER modernizations

The core of the modernization was the integration of the MIL-STD 1553B data bus. This base change allowed the integration of the Israeli ELTA EL/M 2032B radar. A complete cockpit remodel was performed with the integration of an El-Op HUD and two monochrome MFDs, LITE pod with laser head and infrared and television navigation, HUD integration with Elbit’s DASH III helmet. At the level of electronic warfare, more evolved versions of the Caiquén (Radar Alert Receiver, RWR, DM/A-104) and Eclipse (Chaff and Flares Dispenser DM/A-202) developed by the Chilean company Desarrollo de Tecnologías y Sistemas (DTS). Caiquén was the development destined to alert the pilots of the emission of enemy radars, being this device capable of identifying if the signal of a radar came from a surveillance, acquisition or fire control equipment, both terrestrial and aerial. The system had a weight that did not exceed 10 kg. Having a coverage of 360º in azimuth and +/- 40º in elevation, Eclipse consisted of a passive self-defense system intended to disturb active radars or IR missiles, This entire electronic warfare system was called EWPS-100.

At the armament level, both 20mm machine guns and the Sidewinder AIM-9J missiles were maintained, but the Israeli Shafrir II and Python III missiles were also added.

On July 8, 1992, the F-5E 805 series carried out its test flight carrying the AIM-9J and the new Python III, later In June 1993 the I.A.I. Presents in Le Bourget, the converted FACH 809 (actually it was the 805), which had a very special camouflage; In the front part of the plane you can see painted “F-5 PLUS” and on the part of the tail a “III with a tiger” symbolizing the new standard that would be given in Chile.

Modernized cockpit


IAI F-5E Plus prototype presented in France


Finally these prototypes were delivered to Chile and served as a guide for the modernization of the remaining fleet, in Chile they were modernized by the national company ENAER and called F-5 Tiger III where over the years they were further improved, becoming known by the current name called " F-5 Tiger III Plus".


  • Crew:
    • 1
  • Armament:
    • Primary: 2x Pontiac M39 A2 cannons, caliber 20 mm
    • Secondary: 7 hardpoints, 2 wingtip launch rails, 4 underwing pylons and 1 more pylon under the fuselage with a capacity of 3200 kg, to carry a combination of: Mark 81, Mark 82, Mark 83, Mark 84 bombs, LGB Griffin, CBU-24/49/52/58 Cluster bombs, napalm containers, AIM-9J Sidewinder, Rafael Shafrir 2, Python III, AGM-65 Maverick, LAU-61 or LAU-68 Containers each with 19 or 7 Hydra 70mm rockets respectively, LAU-5003 Containers each with 19 CRV7 70mm rockets, LAU-10 Containers each with 4 Zuni 127mm rockets, Matra Containers each with 18 SNEB 68mm rockets.
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 14.45 m
    • Wingspan: 8.13 m
    • Height: 4.08 m
    • Wing area: 17.28 m²
    • Empty weight: 4,349 kg
    • Loaded weight: 7,157 kg
    • Maximum takeoff weight: 9,312 kg
  • Performance:
    • Powerplant: 2× General Electric J85-GE-21B turbojet.
    • Maximum operating speed (Vno): 1,875 km/h
    • Normal Thrust: 15.5 kN 3,500 lbf of thrust each.
    • Thrust with afterburner: 22.2 kN 5,000 lbf of thrust each.
    • Fuel capacity: 2,563 internal liters and up to 3 external tanks of 1,040 liters each.
    • Range: 1,405 km
    • Range by ferry: 3,800 km
    • Service ceiling: 16,800 m
    • Rate of climb: 184 m/s (36,220 ft/min)




Pretty cool



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It would be great to see this prototype in the tree of Israel


nice plane!

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I’m glad you like it, I think it’s a unique fighter

I’m going to say this here Israel and Chile are really close up to a point where they are helping each other out with upgrades over numerous airframes.

Chile also has some Israeli domestic aircraft and tanks from Israel too.

I wouldn’t mind if Chile was a sub tree with Israel at all tbh.


Then you will like to read about these suggestions I made about a sub tree from Chile for Israel


Yea I’m currently reading the air one and I’m already in love


This would be awesome, absolutely cancerous to face (as with all F-5’s) but fantastic nonetheless.


This’ll be a +1 from me
More F-5s are always appreciated, especially modernized ones (I especially love this one because of the tailfin fairing lol)


Automatic +1


Hell yeah, +1
MODs! Add it right now! 💀


Forgot to ask this yesterday but, Is it capable of carrying 4 total pythons on the underwing stations? Or just 2 in total. Perfect gap filler for Israel at 11.7 with just its IR missiles and HMD capabilities.

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The photos during his tests in Israel only carried 2 Python 3 but he can carry more of course, in fact when he returned to Chile he was armed with 4 Python 4 under the wings


I find it funny how we have essentially received this in game, as the F-5E ICU.

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It is true, both F-5s are quite similar although some things change such as the bombs, the radar, the cockpit design, etc. What I like most about this F-5 is the aesthetics it has, it seems very representative of Israel having the IAI logo in the paint and it could be a perfect 11.3 on the Israeli air tree


It could be the Kfir C.7 at home (that doesn’t rip by just pulling full elevator for 3 seconds haha…)

Sidenote; it gets HMD/HMS right? Do you think that would warrant 11.7? Or do you think it would be fine just being a better FCU at the same BR kinda like the Mirage 2000-CS4/CS5?


I’m not sure if this prototype used HMD but when it arrived in Chile it was used, here are some photos of the Israeli DASH helmet that has that capability (in the cover photo of this prototype suggestion you can see the pilot wearing a similar helmet)


This is the evolution of this prototype, it is the final version used here in Chile called F-5 Tiger III Plus