RUAG delivers first F-5 jet to Tactical Air Support

Emmen, 11.04.2024 – An important milestone has been reached in the U.S. Navy’s ARTEMIS project: RUAG has handed over the first of a total of 22 F-5 jets to Tactical Air Support (Tactical Air). Acting as a subcontractor on behalf of Tactical Air, RUAG is responsible for performing inspections and selected structural work on the F-5 aircraft and for overhauling the engines.

In July 2022, the U.S. Navy assigned the contract for the ARTEMIS F-5 modernization program to Tactical Air. As a subcontractor of Tactical Air, RUAG is responsible for specific maintenance services on the F-5 airframes and for the overhaul of the GE-J-85 engines. The U.S. Navy acquired the 22 F-5 aircraft from the Swiss government several years ago.

The U.S. Navy’s objective is to use the F-5 fleet for its Red Air training program (tactical pilot training) and to operate these aircraft reliably and cost-effectively until 2040 and beyond. To enable the aircraft to simulate more modern jets within the training program, comprehensive avionics upgrades have been implemented as part of the ARTEMIS project. Alongside this, safety improvements and an obsolescence program are also being realized. The latter ensures that maintenance work can be carried out and spare parts are available during the corresponding time frame.

The intensity of the selected structural work varies depending on the number of flight hours and the condition of the aircraft. RUAG is currently working on four F-5 airframes. The first F-5 jet has now been delivered to Tactical Air in order that further work can be carried out in Jacksonville, Florida. There, the aircraft will be further modernized by Tactical Air with the installation of a new cockpit and a modern avionics suite.

This project is making a significant contribution to maintaining and securing Swiss expertise and capabilities for the Swiss F-5 fleet. It also opens up additional business prospects for RUAG.

Photo courtesy RUAG