Northrop F-5E Tiger III Plus - One of the most powerful Northrop F-5 in the world

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Northrop F-5E Tiger III Plus



On July 26, 1976, Chile purchased 15 F-5E Tiger II (J-800 to J-814) and 3 F-5F (J-815 to J-817) from Northrop. The FACH (Chilean Air Force) indicated that a dorsal fin be added to increase directional stability, in addition to allowing the installation of additional navigation equipment , which differentiates it from the rest of the standard F-5.

Northrop delivered them with the system to install the AIM-9B Sidewinder air-to-air, but due to the boycott that Chile suffered from the United States in the 70-80s, the Chilean Air Force enabled them to carry the Shaffrir . After a while, relations with the United States improved a bit and at the end of the 80s, Chile decided to begin improvements in avionics, electronics, and weapons systems, concluding that the F-5 Plus system offered by I.A.I. was the most appropriate. To begin with, 2 planes were sent to Israel, the single-seater 805, plus the two-seater 817 to start the conversions, which would be called TIGER III. The following conversions to the new standard were then carried out in Chile by the national company ENAER.

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 in the tail part a “III with a tiger” which symbolizes the new standard.

Chilean F-5 improved to the new standard



First update

In March 1990, Chile became a more stable country again, and with a new government, for this reason, the United States sanctions had been completely eliminated. FACH began a study for the modernization of its entire batch of F-5 Tiger II and finally the Israeli “Tiger Plus” package was chosen and a US$300 million contract was signed in March 1990 with the IAI - Israel Aerospace Industries. for the modernization of 12 F-5E and 3 F-5F. The program was designed by the FACH and was designated the F-5E Tiger III.


the new F-5E Tiger III received an israeli ELTA EL/M-2032B radar (developed by Elta Electronics) instead of the original Emerson APQ 159 V5 radar. ELTA’s EL/M-2032B Radar is an advanced multi-mode pulse Doppler radar (MMR) with look-down and shoot-down capability, and provides a high-resolution map of the earth to enable low-altitude flights with an estimated range. of 100 km, something that the old radar did not allow and this meant a significant improvement in detection and situational awareness for the pilot.

ELTA EL/M-2032B radar


Electronic equipment

The cockpit has been greatly improved compared to the F-5E, which had an excess of analog instruments. On the F-5E Tiger III panel it has two 5x7-inch monochrome multifunction displays to provide mission data in order to facilitate the pilot’s work by providing critical information and two new mission computers . In the cockpit there is a HUD that has all the navigation information for the achievement of the objective, providing a complete tactical picture, and therefore increasing the “situational awareness” on the part of the pilot. Another improvement was the installation in the cabin of an OBOGS oxygen generation system that produces its own oxygen. It also incorporates a HOTAS (Hands On Throttle And Stick) control to reduce the pilot’s workload and speed up his response capacity in combat, to the extent that all the important systems for managing the flight and combat situation are triggered in the HOTAS accelerator. In the F-5 Tiger III new Martin Baker MK10 ejection seats were installed, air conditioning system , integration with the Israeli DASH helmet , as HMD (Helmet Mounted Display), for radar altimeter instrument landing systems. The Chilean company DTS installed the EWPS-100 for Electronic Warfare , based on a 360° RWR (radar warning system) system. This system detects and notifies the pilot about the radar emissions that are reaching the aircraft, being able to activate DM/A-202 chaff and flare launchers and an A-401 Jammer for self-protection from electronic interference. The F-5 also received a complete structural overhaul that allowed it a longer useful life of 20 years.

New electronic equipment


Chilean F-5 Tiger III pilots wearing Israeli DASH helmets



As of 1994, the first TIGRE III began to be delivered, which were converted in Chile. In 1997 the in-flight refueling probe was installed by ENAER.

Chilean F-5 Tiger III being refueled in flight




At the beginning of the 21st century, the avionics were already becoming obsolete, so the FACH decided to carry out more improvements implemented nationally, the national company ENAER (National Aeronautical Company of Chile) was in charge of carrying out all these improvements, which would add the “Plus” denomination to the Chilean Tiger III. new avionics were added, such as an INS GPS/Inertial Navigation System , a second auxiliary GPS , and new HF/VHF/UHF radios with data link capabilities . With these improvements, the Tiger III could send and receive data to other aircraft without giving away its position.

In addition to these improvements, other things were added, among which are the new Chaff/Flare radar alert reception system , new NVG night vision systems , which allow night operations to be safer, and a new low visibility CCIP/CCRP that continuously calculates the point of departure and the point of delivery of weapons that greatly improves the ability of aircraft in air-to-ground missions. The new HUD (Head Up Display) has a color video camera and digital video recorder. It has compatibility with the “pod” Litening Rafael.



The EL/M-2032B ELTA radar can be used to provide data to a missile attack of various nationalities, such as the AIM-120 AMRAAM, MICA, R-Darter, Derby, or even Russian missiles. However, FACH has equipped its F-5 Tiger III Plus with short-range missiles from the AIM-9J/P Sidewinder , Rafael Shafrir 2, Python III , Python IV family that offer integration into the Israeli DASH hull. The medium range missile that is available for the Tiger III is the Israeli Rafael Derby has active guidance with a range of 50 km. And the air-to-ground arsenal consists of laser-guided bombs , AGM-65 Maverick missiles , and anti-radar missiles and rocket launchers . Two M-39 A-2 20mm guns are maintained.

Chilean F-5E Tiger III Plus carrying Python IV missiles


All these improvements made at the beginning of the 21st century by the FACH (Chilean Air Force) made possible the birth of the Chilean F-5E Tiger III Plus , which surpasses the standard F-5E Tiger III that were first deployed in 1994 in Chile. the F-5E Tiger III plus is a unique variant in the world that to this day serves in Chile, although it is expected that they will soon be replaced.

From 2001 to 2004, the Moroccan aviation also updated its F-5 Tiger II to the Tiger III standard (name given by the FACH, Chilean air force, in 1990), but they did not reach the “Plus” standard since they do not have several of the improvements given by Chile in the 21st century.

In 2015, a contract was signed with the company Kellstrom Defense and ENAER (National Aeronautical Company of Chile) who carried out very important work, the disassembly, revision, reconditioning and structural reinforcement of the wings of these aircraft, allowing their useful life to be extended by at least less 10 years.

The 806 plane, painted as “Tiger”, for the Annual Meeting of “Tigers” (FACH pilots who have flown the F-5) in 2007.



F-5E Tiger III Plus during FIDAE 2024 in Chile (video taken by me)


  • 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:
      • Bombs: Cardoen GP Bombs (Mk 81, 82, 83, 84), Cardoen Cluster Bombs (CB-130, CB-500), FAMAE GP Bombs (Mk 81, 82, 83, 84), Snakeeye bombs, LGB Griffin.
      • Missiles: AIM-9 J/P Sidewinder, Rafael Shafrir 2, Python III, Python IV, Rafael Derby, AGM-65 Maverick.
      • Rockets: 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.
    • Additional systems: MIL-STD 1553B data bus, ELTA EL/M 2032B radar, El-Op HUD and two monochrome MFD, LITE pod with laser head and infrared and television navigation, HUD integration with Elbit’s DASH III helmet, Caiquén II RWR, 2 x Eclipse flare/chaff pods with 18 charges each (36 in total), New multifunction screens, New mission digital debriefing system (RADA), New datalink and the approval, testing and incorporation of Derby VBR medium-range missiles, Mid-air refueling lance.
  • 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)

CARDOEN GP BOMBS (general purpose)

FAMAE GP BOMBS (general purpose)




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estaría bien que lo agregaran en 11.3 ya que comparte armamento con el kfir c2 aunque el Derby es la mayor diferencia y en la linea de investigación creo que abajo del f-5e de EEUU antes de pasara rango 8 aunque recién estoy con el f5 E por lo que no se el desbalance tecnológico que supondría en el br mencionado quizás en 11.7 este parejo viendo otro post sobre el f-5 brasileño

I think that the Chilean F-5E Tiger III Plus should be at BR 12.0 and the Brazilian F-5EM at 12.3, they are much higher than the F-5 that is in the game

1 Like

This would be the perfect lightweight fighter
A good targeting pod, Mavericks, Derbys and Pythons///

I think that in the history of the F-5 in the world it would be in second or third place in power, only behind the Brazilian F-5EM and the Thai F-5TH Super Tigris. Although the three F-5s are very similar.

Yesterday I went to visit the National Aeronautical and Space Museum - Chile, where I was able to record videos of the F-5E Tiger III, so you can see its details more closely and directly, including the tail insignia where you can see its characteristic tiger and a 3 symbolizing the standard. Also some very good resolution photos that I took.





F-5E Tiger III Plus during FIDAE 2024. I tried to take as many photos in detail so that in case it ever makes it to the game the developers will have all the details of the fighter: