F-5A Freedom Fighter
F-5A Freedom Fighter
Origin USA United States
Role Light fighter
Manufacturer Northrop Corporation
Primary user Navy United States Navy
General characteristics
Length 47 ft 4¾ (14.45 m)
Wingspan 26.8 ft (8.13 m)
Height 13 ft 4½ (4.08 m)
Loaded weight 15,745 lb (7,157 kg)
Maximum speed 1,060 mph (1,700 km/h)
Range 870 mi (1,405 km)
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.
series information
Appearances H.A.W.X.

The Northrop F-5A Freedom Fighter is part of a supersonic light fighter family, initially designed in the late 1950s by Northrop Corporation. Being smaller and simpler than contemporaries such as the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, the F-5 cost less to both procure and operate, making it a popular export aircraft. The F-5 started life as a privately funded light fighter program by Northrop in the 1950s. The design team wrapped a small, highly aerodynamic fighter around two compact and high-thrust General Electric J85 engines, focusing on performance and low cost of maintenance. Though primarily designed for the day air superiority role, the aircraft is also a capable ground-attack platform. The F-5A entered service in the early 1960s. During the Cold War, over 800 were produced through 1972 for U.S. allies. Though the USAF had no acknowledged need for a light fighter, it did procure roughly 1,200 Northrop T-38 Talon trainer aircraft, which were directly based on the F-5A.