Northrop F-20A Tigershark (discussion, history, performance, and what to expect)

So, the F-20A Tigershark was finally unveiled in the trailer for Update: Alpha Strike!

Based on what was shown in the trailer, it looks to be based upon prototypes 2 and 3 (judging by nose and canopy shape), and from what we can tell so far, has access to Iron bombs, AIM-9Ls, and AGM-65B Mavericks at the very least.



So, some things to unpack here:
Cockpit looks to definitely be prototype 2/3 (as well as nose shape), meaning we’re looking the standard APG-67 (non-extended range), as well as a 17,000 lbf engine. Also only 4,000-ish pounds of internal fuel. It has AIM-9Ls and AGM-65Bs, which is already pretty nice to see thus far.

Likely weapons: up to 4x Zuni pods, 1x centerline GPU-5A 3-mm gunpod, 2x AIM-7F/M Sparrows, Mighty Mouse pods, and AIM-9Js as a lower-capability Sidewinder (“stock”). By the looks of things, the F-20 is not likely to disappoint…


At 0:50 in the trailer it does a fly by, seems it’s carrying unguided bombs, can’t tell for sure as the camera pan blurs it for me. I would assume we should expect that too if that’s what this is.

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i see a few places where it can carry 4 aim7, but they have only given it 2 and it even removes 2 9ls for 1 7f, kinda sad.

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That’s how it was lol
The F-20 was never able to carry 4x

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I believe it was capable of carrying 4x Aim-120s not Aim-7.

Mock-up of the 4x Aim-120 setup from a promotional video to potential customers.

But good luck on this thing ever getting Aim-120s in game.

2x Aim-9Ls and 2x Aim-7s vs R-73, R-27, Aim-9M and in the future R-77 and Aim-120 really doesn’t sound fun to me and because it has 9L making it 12.0 I can’t bring it into the more fun 11.0 to 11.7 sim br bracket.

I’d honestly rather take my F-4S to 12.0 with its 4x Aim-9H and 4x Aim-7 both being able to lock with HMD over this or just go with the F-16A ADF.


Straight up, this thing has no place at the BR it has on dev.

The F-4S has the luxury of a better overall BR spread and frankly equal ordinance bar heaters.

Not to mention 45 standard size countermeasures at 12.0 is flat out untenable.

Unless they are keen on frontloading this thing with 120s and 9Ms right from the getgo this thing is the big DOA.

I pity anyone who is thinking about pre-ordering this thing right now because it is going to be absolutely thrashed.

My exact thoughts I debated on getting the F-20 but at its br of 12.0 and price increase I don’t see it being fun at 12.0 games upwards against R-73, Aim-9M, R-27 and the upcoming Aim-120 and R-77.

It’s lacking in both A2A and A2G capabilities for a 12.0 aircraft and it’s only going to get worse as new stuff is introduced to top tier.

Allowing it to get the 4x Aim-120 setup would help a lot in my opinion not because they’re 120s but the fact it’s 2 extra radar missiles.

I don’t think the 120 and fox 3s in general are gonna change the game that much since RB is just hugging the ground simulator and the 120 just like any other radar missile still suffers from the same flaws that Aim-7/R-27 do when going for low flying targets.

The only thing making it 12.0 is the god damn 9Ls it gets that are gonna be useless in top tier against jets with flares in the literal hundreds, IRCCM missiles that outclass the 9L and HMD to fire those IRCCM missiles (yay 45 flares only good luck!)

Imo, leave it’s ordinance as is and downtier it hard.

Having only two 9Ls and 2 sparrows is not really a capable craft even at 11.3 just by the virtue of other aircraft at said BR range having vastly more total missiles at their disposal.

It’s real only saving grace is the engine it is strapped to, which gives it an impressive, but frankly useless climb rate. The radar currently feels its been copied from something else as it does not seem to be F-16 levels of PD.

And yeah A2G wise it is quite sad.

I mean, why would the APG-67 be F-16-level? It’s smaller, has a shorter range, etc
Northrop kinda overinflated its numbers during sales lol

I use the F-16A’s radar as the measure of a good top tier PD radar, thus I compared the F-20 to it.

It is found wanting, thus I dont find it to be a good radar at the BR range.

That’s just kind of the thing: the APG-67 was never gonna be better than the APG-66, especially since IRL reliability and similar things aren’t always taken into account for this game.

IRL, the reason the APG-67 sorta had a leg up over the -66 was due to being entirely digital, whereas the -66 still used vacuum tubes for some parts (hence why the APG-68 was pursued to replace it rather quickly). Remove the limiting factors of vacuum tubes, and it basically removes any and all advantages the -67 would’ve had over the -66.

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You are acting like I expected it to be superior. As stated I use the F-16’s radar as the standard for top tier for comparisons, nothing more nothing less.

Its even worse than that, the RWR is a downgrade of the F-5E’s for some apparent reason even though the F-20 was BASED off of the F-5E.

F-5E has the AN/ALR46(V)3 RWR
F-20 for some unknown reason has the AN/ALR46.

This causes shit like this to happen frequently

Which is a MAJOR issue because aircraft at 12.0 see effectively nothing but uptiers.