The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

First Swiss Tiger fighter jet handed over to US forces

The Swiss Air Force handed over the first of 22 Tiger fighter jets to the US armed forces on Monday. It was picked up at the Emmen military airfield in the canton of Lucerne. The US Navy is using the acquired Tigers as a target display for training purposes.

The Swiss Federal Office of Armaments Armasuisse sold the decommissioned F-5 Tiger fighter jets to the US armed forces in 2020, as announced on Monday. They were transported from Emmen on board a Lockheed KC-130J of the United States Marine Corps.

A large proportion of the F-5 Tigers procured in the 1970s and 1980s have already been sold. A few years ago, the US naval forces purchased 44 F-5 Tigers from Switzerland, which had originally been used by the Swiss Air Force for space protection.

The Swiss Armed Forces still have 25 F-5 Tigers in their inventory, 18 of which are currently in service. According to Armasuisse, they relieve the F/A-18 Hornet fleet and are used for target presentation, training purposes, as a towing aircraft and for test flights.

Around half of the F-5 Tigers are used by the Patrouille Suisse aerobatic team for flight demonstrations. However, the Department of Defense DDPS has already announced that it will cease F-5 operations by the end of 2027. It is not yet clear what future air shows will look like.


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