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Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II Service History Fleet Images Fleet Information
On February 9, 1973, the ROC government and the US government reached an agreement for the co-production of 100 F-5E. This program was given the codename "Hu An" (Peace Tiger) and was to be undertaken jointly by Northrop and Taiwan's AIDC (then a branch of the ROCAF).

The first AIDC-built F-5E was rolled out on October 30, 1974, one day before the late President Chiang Kai Shek's 88th birthday, and was thus christened "Chung Chen", an alias of President Chiang. Production of all 100 aircraft was completed in November 1977.

Later 208 more aircraft were added to the production run in five batches, from "Peace Tiger 2" through "Peace Tiger 6". Complexity of the production work by AIDC also evolved in several phases. The whole "Peace Tiger" program was completed on December 9, 1986, when the final aircraft was rolled of the production line. In total, the ROCAF received 242 F-5E and 66 F-5F. Breakdown of the numbers of aircraft built in each Peace Tiger batch is as follows:

F-5E F-5F Subtotal
Peace Tiger 1 100 0 100
Peace Tiger 2 47 0 47
Peace Tiger 3 20 3 23
Peace Tiger 4 15 15 30
Peace Tiger 5 30 18 48
Peace Tiger 6 30 30 60

Among these batches, Peace Tiger 6 stands out because it is only batch approved after the Carter administration of the US established formal relationships with China in 1979. The succeeding Reagan administration denied Taiwan's request to prochase the more advanced F-16 and F-20 in early 1982, for fear of angering China. To make matters worse, the US signed the 817 Communique with China on August 17, 1982, pledging to reduce arms sales to Taiwan gradually. But in an effort to assure Taiwan's security, the Reagan administration notified the Congress of the proposed sale of 60 F-5E/F to Taiwan two days later. The US$240-million sale was made of the lincense production of 30 F-5E and 30 F-5F and was later materialed as Peace Tiger 6.

The F-5E/F license-building program gave AIDC invaluable experience in aircraft manufacturing techniquesand broadened its technology base. It also helped AIDC build up a good relationship with Northrop, which later proved very beneficial for the AT-3 program. AIDC had developed a modern chemical milling facility that could handle aluminum skin panels up to 2 by 4 ft and magnesium panels of smaller sizes. Another advanced manufacturing capability developed by AIDC as a result was the fabrication of bonded honeycomb elements. The fuselage dorsal cover for the F-5E, which consists of nine bonded honeycomb panels, and the honeycomb aileron and flap panels were added to the fabrication work under Phase 5.

Service History

443rd Tactical Fighter Wing
To prepare for the arrival of the F-5Es, ROCAF established a task force named "Sung Shan" at Tainan AB on December 1, 1974, in charge of the conversion training. On September 10, 1976, the 443rd TFW, consisting of the 1st, 3rd, and 9th TFS, at Tainan AB became the first F-5E wing when the 48th F-5E was delivered to the wing.

The ROCAF aerobatic demonstration team, the Thunder Tiger, then a task force of the 1st TFG under the 443rd TFW, also converted to the F-5E. The team continued to fly the Tiger II until June 1988, when the Air Force Academy took over the responsibility for flying demonstration with the AT-3.

The 443rd TFW began to trade its F-5E/F for the F-CK-1A/B in 1996 and became the second wing to operate the Ching Kuo Indigenous Defensive Fighter.

401st Tactical Composite Wing
The second ROCAF wing to receive the F-5E was the 401st TCW which used to be based at Taoyuan; it converted to F-5Es on January 27, 1978. At that time, the 401st TCW had three F-5E squadrons, the 17th, 26th, and 27th TFS, in addition to the 12th TRS, then operating the R/F-104G. These Stargazers/Starfighters were completely replaced by seven RF-5E in 1998. A handful of regular F-5E were also assigned to the 12th TRS for proficiency flying.

The 401st TCW, including the 12th TRS, was relocated to Hualien on July 1, 1998, and traded its F-5E/F with the new F-16A/B. However, the RF-5E of the 12th TRS stayed at Taoyuan and were transferred to the newly established 4th TRS there on the same day.

455th Tactical Fighter Wing
The 455th TFW at Chiayi, then consisting of the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd TFS, was the third ROCAF wing to convert the F-5E/F. The conversion process began on February 20, 1978, and was completed on September 16 of the same year. It surrendered its F-5E/F when the ROCAF started to take delivery of the F-16A/B and became the first F-16 wing when the first batch of F-16 arrived at Chiayi in April 1997. In total, the 455th TFW accumulated 23,025 sorties and 114,489.35 hours on the F-5E/F.

737th Tactical FIghter Wing
The 737th TFW at Taitung converted to F-5Es in 1982, then controling the 44th, 45th, and 46th TFS under the subordinate 7th TFG. On January 1, 1984, the 46th TFS became an independent squadron directly reporting the 737th TFW. It took up the responsibility as the aggressor unit, simulating tactics used by the PLAAF. Their F-5E/F are painted either in tropical camouflage or in bare-metal, resembling PLAAF tactical aircraft. The buzz number is painted in red and moved from the mid section of the fuselage to the nose section, while the stenciled "Chung Chen" are moved to where the buzz number used to be.

On July 1, 1988, with the installation of the new ACMI system, the ROCAF established the Tactical Training and Development Center (TTDC) at Taitung and the 46th TFS became its sole subordinate unit.

828th Tactical FIghter Wing (not current)
The last wing to receive F-5Es, the 828th TFW, started the conversion on July 1, 1986, although some F-5A/Bs of this wing kept flying until mid-1990s. The wing stood down in 1992 and the East Command, which was established July 1, 1991, took over the 8th TFG and its subordinate squadrons.

In 1994, the ROCAF leased 40 ex-USAF T-38A to cover the shortage of the F-5E/F and to retain pilot proficiency prior to the introduction of the F-16A/B. These T-38A were assigned to the 14th and 15th TFS and were commissioned on May 24, 1995. All T-38A, minus one attrition, were returned to the US in 1998.

On July 1, 1998, the 8th TFG was transferred to the newly established Taoyuan AB Command.

Taoyuan Air Base Command (not current)
On July 1, 1998, the 8th TFG was relocated to Taoyuan, falling under the control of the newly established Taoyuan AB Command. The 15th and 16th TFS re-gained the F-5E/F, while the 14th TFS was relocated to Chiayi and became the 14th FG (OCU) to train F-16 pilots. Taoyuan AB Command also gained the newly established 4th TRS, which flies the RF-5E.

Seven years after its establishment, Taoyuan AB Command stood down on July 1, 2005, when ROCAF underwent another wave of reorganization. All of its F-5E/F were transferred to the 737th TFW at Taitung, while the 401st TCW at Hualien took over the RF-5E.

Fleet Images

 F-5E
F-5E 5185 preserved at Hualien AFB 5185 F-5E 5195 preserved at Taoyuan AFB 5195 F-5E 5223 preserved at Taitung AFB 5223 F-5E 5241 (Photo by Jason Tu) 5241 (Photo by Jason Tu)
F-5E 5249 (Photo by Jason Tu) 5249 (Photo by Jason Tu) F-5E 5250 (Photo by Jason Tu) 5250 (Photo by Jason Tu) F-5E 5261 5261 F-5E 5263 5263
F-5E 5265 5265 F-5E 5272 5272 F-5E 5278 5278 F-5E 5279 5279
F-5E 5280 5280 F-5E 5281 5281 F-5E 5286 5286 F-5E 5287 5287
F-5E 5288 5288 F-5E 5289 5289 F-5E 5290 5290 F-5E 5291 (Photo by Jason Tu) 5291 (Photo by Jason Tu)
F-5E 5292 5292 F-5E 5294 5294
 F-5F
F-5F 5368 (Photo by Jason Tu) 5368 (Photo by Jason Tu) F-5F 5371 (Photo by Jason Tu) 5371 (Photo by Jason Tu) F-5F 5377 5377 F-5F 5378 5378
F-5F 5380 5380 F-5F 5381 5381 F-5F 5382 5382 F-5F 5384 5384
F-5F 5385 (Photo by Benjamin Yu) 5385 (Photo by Benjamin Yu) F-5F 5386 5386 F-5F 5389 5389 F-5F 5393 (Photo by Jason Tu) 5393 (Photo by Jason Tu)
F-5F 5397 5397 F-5F 5400 (Photo by Jason Tu) 5400 (Photo by Jason Tu) F-5F 5401 (Photo by Jason Tu) 5401 (Photo by Jason Tu) F-5F 5404 5404
F-5F 5407 5407 F-5F 5409 5409 F-5F 5410 5410 F-5F 5412 5412
F-5F 5413 5413 F-5F 5414 5414 F-5F 5416 5416

Fleet Information

 F-5E

Tail No. Serial No. Remark
510174-0958
510274-0959
510374-0960
510474-0961
510574-0962
510674-0963
510774-0964
510874-0965
510974-0966Preserved (Tse Ming High School, Taichung County)
511074-0967w/o
511174-0968
511274-0969
511374-0970
511474-0971
511574-0972
511674-0973
511774-0974
511874-0975w/o 11/02/81
511974-0976
512074-0977Defected to China & crashed 02/11/89
512174-0978Preserved in Madou
512274-0979
512374-0980Preserved (Chung Hwa Vocational School, Hualien)
512474-0981
512574-0982Preserved (Ba Gua Shan Park, Changhwa County)
512674-0983
512774-0984
512874-0985Preserved (Military Historical Park, Nanhwa Dam)
512974-0986w/o 04/14/82
513074-0987
513174-0988
513274-0989
513374-0990
513474-0991
513574-0992w/o 05/24/91
513674-0993
513774-0994Preserved (Yun Da Technical College, Pingtung County)
513874-0995Preserved (Er Lun Military History Park, Yunlin County)
513974-0996
514074-0997Preserved (Shihu, Changhwa County)
514175-0314
514275-0315
514375-0316
514475-0317
514575-0318Preserved (Chung Hwa Technical College, Chutung)
514675-0319
514775-0320
514875-0321
514975-0322Preserved (Chung Shan Vocational School, Kaohsiung)
515075-0323
515175-0324
515275-0325w/o 05/28/92
515375-0326
515475-0327
515575-0328
515675-0329
515775-0330Preseved (Tainan AFB)
515875-0331
515975-0332
516075-0333
516175-0334
516275-0335
516375-0336
516475-0337
516575-0338
516675-0339
516775-0340
516875-0341
516975-0342
517075-0343
517175-0344As instruction airframe (Air Force Aeronautical & Technical School)
517275-0345
517375-0346
517475-0347
517575-0348
517675-0349
517775-0350
517875-0351
517975-0352
518075-0353
518175-0354
518275-0355Preserved (Mei Shan Park, Chiayi County)
518375-0356
518475-0357
518575-0358Preserved (Hualien AFB)
518675-0359
518775-0360
518875-0361
518975-0362
519075-0363
519175-0364w/o 05/28/91
519275-0365
519375-0366
519475-0367
519575-0368Preserved (Taoyuan AFB)
519675-0369
519775-0370
519875-0371
519975-0372
520075-0373
520176-0471
520276-0472
520376-0473
520476-0474
520576-0475
520676-0476
520776-0477
520876-0478
520976-0479
521076-0480
521176-0481
521276-0482
521376-0483w/o 08/07/78
521476-0484
521576-0485Preserved (Fang Shu Vocational School, Chungli)
521676-0486
521776-0487
521876-0488
521976-0489
522076-0490Preserverd (Shuili, Nantou County)
522176-1616As instruction airframe (Air Force Aeronautical & Technical School)

 

Tail No. Serial No. Remark
522276-1617
522376-1618Preserved (Taitung AFB)
522476-1619
522576-1620
522676-1621
522776-1622w/o 05/09/89
522876-1623w/o 09/30/97
522976-1624Preserved (Chuchi Park, Chiayi County)
523076-1625Preserved (Lungtan Sports Park)
523176-1626
523276-1627
523376-1628
523476-1629
523576-1630
523676-1631
523776-1632
523876-1633
523976-1634w/o 12/20/95
524076-1635
524176-1636Preserved (Chiayi AFB)
524276-1637
524376-1638
524476-1639
524577-0328
524677-0329
524777-0330
524877-0331
524977-0332
525077-0333
525177-0334Preserved (Chin Ho Community Park, Chiayi County)
525277-0335
525378-0028
525478-0029
525578-0030w/o 07/26/91
525678-0031
525778-0032
525878-0033
525978-0034
526078-0035
526178-0036
526278-0037
526378-0865
526478-0866
526578-0867
526678-0868
526778-0869
526878-0870
526978-0871
527078-0872
527178-0873
527278-0874
527378-0875
527479-1717
527579-1718
527679-1719
527779-1720
527880-0299
527980-0300
528080-0301
528180-0302
528280-0303
528380-0304Preserved (823 Memorial Park, Taichung)
528480-0305
528580-0306
528680-0307
528780-0308
528880-0309
528980-0310
529080-0311
529180-0312
529280-0313
529380-0314
529480-0315
529580-0316
529680-0317
529780-0318
529880-0319
529981-0006
530081-0007
530181-0008
530281-0009
530381-0010
530481-0011
530581-0012
530681-0013
530781-0014
530881-0015Loaned to AIDC (Tiger2000 prototype)
530981-0016
531081-0017
531181-0018
531281-0019
531383-0083
531483-0084
531583-0085Converted into RF-5E 5501
531683-0086Converted into RF-5E 5502
531783-0087Converted into RF-5E 5503
531883-0088Converted into RF-5E 5504
531983-0089
532083-0090
532183-0091Converted into RF-5E 5505
532283-0092
532383-0093Converted into RF-5E 5506
532483-0094Converted into RF-5E 5507
532583-0095
532683-0096
532783-0097
532883-0098
532983-0099
533083-0100
533183-0101
533283-0102
533383-0103
533483-0104
533583-0105
533683-0106
533783-0107
533883-0108
533983-0109
534083-0110
534183-0111
534283-0112

 F-5F

Tail No. Serial No. Remark
535176-1640w/o 06/02/96
535276-1641
535376-1642
535477-0336w/o 05/xx/89
535577-0337
535677-0338
535777-0339
535877-0340
535977-0341
536077-0342
536177-0343Defected to China 08/08/81; on display in Beijing
536277-0344
536377-0345
536477-0346
536577-0347
536677-0348w/o 09/25/81
536777-0349
536877-0350
536978-0876
537078-0877
537178-0878w/o (instrument panel & seat at ITRI)
537278-0879
537378-0880
537478-0881
537578-0882w/o 11/22/82
537678-0883
537778-0884
537879-1721
537979-1722w/o 01/27/05
538079-1723
538179-1724w/o 06/17/06
538279-1725
538379-1726

 

Tail No. Serial No. Remark
538480-0296
538580-0297
538680-0298
538783-0113
538883-0114w/o 09/30/97
538983-0115
539083-0116w/o 01/26/89
539183-0117
539283-0118
539383-0119
539483-0120w/o 12/03/98
539583-0121
539683-0122
539783-0123
539883-0124w/o 04/13/04
539983-0125
540083-0126
540183-0127
540283-0128
540383-0129
540483-0130
540583-0131
540683-0132
540783-0133
540883-0134
540983-0135
541083-0136
541183-0137
541283-0138
541383-0139
541483-0140
541583-0141w/o 07/15/89
541683-0142

 Last update: 04/13/08 TaiwanAirPower > Air Force > Top