The Northrop F-5A and F-5B Freedom Fighter and the F-5E and F-5F Tiger II are part of a supersonic light fighter family 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 funded light fighter program by Northrop in the 1950s. The design team wrapped a small aerodynamic fighter around two compact and high-thrust General Electric J85 engines, focusing on performance and low cost of maintenance. Though designed for the day air superiority role, the aircraft is 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 United States Air Force had no need for a light fighter, it did procure 1,200 Northrop T-38 Talon trainer aircraft, which were directly based on the F-5A. After winning the International Fighter Aircraft competition in 1970, a program aimed at providing effective low-cost fighters to American allies, Northrop introduced the second-generation F-5E Tiger II in 1972.
This upgrade included more powerful engines, higher fuel capacity, greater wing area and improved leading edge extensions for a better turn rate, optional air-to-air refueling, improved avionics including air-to-air radar. Used by American allies, it remains in US service to support training exercises, it has served in a wide array of roles, being able to perform both ground attack duties. A total of 1,400 Tiger IIs were built before production ended in 1987. More than 3,800 F-5 and the related T-38 advanced trainer aircraft were produced in Hawthorne, California; the F-5N/F variants are in service with the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps as an adversary trainer. 500 aircraft are in service as of 2014. The F-5 was developed into a dedicated reconnaissance version, the RF-5 Tigereye; the F-5 served as a starting point for a series of design studies which resulted in the Northrop YF-17 and the F/A-18 navalized fighter aircraft. The Northrop F-20 Tigershark was an advanced variant to succeed the F-5E, canceled when export customers did not emerge.
The design effort was led by Northrop vice president of engineering and aircraft designer Edgar Schmued, who at North American Aviation had been the chief designer of the successful North American P-51 Mustang and F-86 Sabre fighters. Schmued recruited a strong engineering team to Northrop and assigned them the goal of reversing the trend in fighter development towards greater size and weight in order to deliver an aircraft with high performance, enhanced maneuverability, high reliability, while still delivering a cost advantage over contemporary fighters. Recognizing that expensive jet aircraft could not viably be replaced every few years, he demanded "engineered growth potential" allowing service longevity in excess of 10 years. Schmued recognized that new jet engine and aerodynamic technology were crucial to these goals, such as the compact but high thrust-to-weight ratio General Electric J85 turbojet engine, the discovered transonic area rule to reduce drag; the J85 engine had been developed to power McDonnell's ADM-20 Quail decoy employed upon the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress.
This engine with thrust-to-weight ratios of 6.25 to 7.5 over various versions had a notable thrust per pound advantage over contemporaries, such as the 4.7 thrust-to-weight ratio of the J79 engine used in the F-4 Phantom. Another influential figure was chief engineer Welko Gasich, who convinced Schmued that the engines must be located within the fuselage for maximum performance. Gasich for the first time introduced the concept of "life cycle cost" into fighter design, which provided the foundation for the F-5's low operating cost and long service life. A Northrop design study stated "The application of advanced technology was used to provide maximum force effectiveness at minimum cost; this became the Northrop philosophy in the development of the T-38 and F-5 lightweight trainer and fighter aircraft." The F-5 development effort was formally started in the mid-1950s by Northrop Corporation for a low-cost, low-maintenance fighter. The company designation for the first design as the N-156, intended to meet a U.
S. Navy requirement for a jet fighter to operate from its escort carriers, which were too small to operate the Navy's existing jet fighters; that requirement disappeared. The N-156T was selected by the United States Air Force as a replacement for the T-33 in July 1956. On 12 June 1959, the first prototype aircraft, subsequently designated as YT-38 Talon, performed its first flight. By the time production had ended in January 1972, a total of 1,158 Talons were produced. Development of the N-156F continued at a lower priority as a private venture by Northrop; the first N-156F flew at Edwards Air Force Base on 30 July 1959, exceeding the speed of sound on its first flight. Although testing of the N-156F was successful, demonstrating unprecedented reliability and proving superior in the ground-attack role to the USAF's existing North American F-100 Super Sabres, official interest in the Northrop type waned, by 1960
Boeing E-3 Sentry
The Boeing E-3 Sentry known as AWACS, is an American airborne early warning and control aircraft developed by Boeing. Derived from the Boeing 707, it provides all-weather surveillance, command and communications, is used by the United States Air Force, NATO, Royal Air Force, French Air Force, Royal Saudi Air Force; the E-3 is distinguished by the distinctive rotating radar dome above the fuselage. Production ended in 1992. In the mid-1960s, the US Air Force was seeking an aircraft to replace its piston-engined Lockheed EC-121 Warning Star, in service for over a decade. After issuing preliminary development contracts to three companies, the USAF picked Boeing to construct two airframes to test Westinghouse Electric and Hughes's competing radars. Both radars used pulse-Doppler technology, with Westinghouse's design emerging as the contract winner. Testing on the first production E-3 began in October 1975; the first USAF E-3 was delivered in March 1977, during the next seven years, a total of 34 aircraft were manufactured.
NATO, as a single identity had 18 aircraft manufactured, basing them in Germany. The E-3 was sold to the United Kingdom and France and Saudi Arabia. In 1991, when the last aircraft had been delivered, E-3s participated in Operation Desert Storm, playing a crucial role of directing coalition aircraft against the enemy. Throughout the aircraft's service life, numerous upgrades were performed to enhance its capabilities. In 1996, Westinghouse Electric's Defense & Electronic Systems division was acquired by Northrop Corporation, before being renamed Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, which supports the E-3's radar. In 1963, the USAF asked for proposals for an Airborne Warning and Control System to replace its EC-121 Warning Stars, which had served in the airborne early warning role for over a decade; the new aircraft would take advantage of improvements in radar technology and in computer aided radar data analysis and data reduction. These developments allowed airborne radars to "look down", detect the movement of low-flying aircraft, discriminate over land, target aircraft's movements—previously this had been impossible, due to the inability to discriminate an aircraft's track from ground clutter.
Contracts were issued to Boeing and Lockheed, the latter being eliminated in July 1966. In 1967, a parallel program was put into place to develop the radar, with Westinghouse Electric and Hughes Aircraft being asked to compete in producing the radar system. In 1968, it was referred to as Overland Radar Technology during development tests on the modified EC-121Q; the Westinghouse radar antenna was going to be used by whichever company won the radar competition, since Westinghouse had pioneered in the design of high-power RF phase-shifters. Boeing proposed a purpose-built aircraft, but tests indicated it would not outperform the already-operational 707, so the latter was chosen instead. To increase endurance, this design was to be powered by eight General Electric TF34s, it would carry its radar in a rotating dome mounted at the top of a forward-swept tail, above the fuselage. Boeing was selected ahead of McDonnell Douglas's DC-8-based proposal in July 1970. Initial orders were placed for two aircraft, designated EC-137D as test beds to evaluate the two competing radars.
As the test-beds did not need the same 14-hour endurance demanded of the production aircraft, the EC-137s retained the Pratt & Whitney JT3D commercial engines, a reduction in endurance requirement led to retaining the normal engines in production. The first EC-137 made its maiden flight on 9 February 1972, with the fly-off between the two radars taking place during March–July that year. Favorable test results led to the selection of Westinghouse's radar for the production aircraft. Hughes's radar was thought to be a certain winner because much of its design was going into the new F-15 Eagle's radar program; the Westinghouse radar used a pipelined fast fourier transform to digitally resolve 128 Doppler frequencies, while Hughes's radars used analog filters based on the design for the F-15 fighter. Westinghouse's engineering team won this competition by using a programmable 18-bit computer whose software could be modified before each mission; this computer was the AN/AYK-8 design from the B-57G program, designated AYK-8-EP1 for its much expanded memory.
This radar multiplexed a beyond-the-horizon pulse mode that could complement the pulse-Doppler radar mode. This proved to be beneficial when the BTH mode is used to detect ships at sea when the radar beam is directed below the horizon. Approval was given on 26 January 1973 for full-scale development of the AWACS system. To allow further development of the aircraft's systems, orders were placed for three preproduction aircraft, the first of which performed its maiden flight in February 1975. To save costs, the endurance requirements were relaxed, allowing the new aircraft to retain the four JT3D engines. IBM and Hazeltine were selected to develop the mission display system; the IBM computer was designated 4PI, the software is written in JOVIAL. A Semi-Automatic Ground Environment or back-up interceptor control operator would be at home with the track displays and tabular displays, but differences in symbology would create compatibility problems in tactical ground radar systems in Iceland, mainland Europe, South Korea over Link-11.
Modifications to the Boeing 707 for the E-3 Sentry included a rotating radar dome, uprated hydraulics to drive th
A trainer is a class of aircraft designed to facilitate flight training of pilots and aircrews. The use of a dedicated trainer aircraft with additional safety features—such as tandem flight controls, forgiving flight characteristics and a simplified cockpit arrangement—allows pilots-in-training to safely advance their real-time piloting and warfighting skills without the danger of overextending their abilities alone in a featured aircraft. Civilian pilots are trained in a light aircraft, with two or more seats to allow for a student and instructor; the aircraft may be modified to withstand the flight conditions imposed by training flights. The two seating configurations for trainer aircraft are: pilot and instructor side by side, or in tandem with the pilot in front and the instructor behind; the side-by-side seating configuration has the advantage that pilot and instructor can see each other's actions, allowing the pilot to learn from the instructor and the instructor to correct the student pilot.
The tandem configuration has the advantage of being closer to the normal working environment that a fast jet pilot is to encounter. It is now the norm for pilots to begin their flight training in an aircraft with side by side seating and to progress to aircraft with tandem seating. This, has not always been the case. For example, it was usual to find tandem seating in biplane basic trainers such as the Tiger Moth and the Jungmann, the British used side by side seating in the operational conversion of some of its fast jets such as the English Electric Lightning. Given the expense of military pilot training, air forces conduct training in phases to eliminate unsuitable candidates; the cost to those air forces that do not follow a graduated training regimen is not just monetary but in lives. For example, for many years the Indian Air Force operated without a suitable advanced training aircraft, leading to a high casualty rate as pilots moved to high performance MiG 21 aircraft without suitable assessment of their aptitude for supersonic flight.
There are two main areas for flight training and operational training. In flight training a candidate seeks to develop their flying skills. In operational training the candidate learns to use his or her flying skills through simulated combat and fighter techniques. Contemporary military pilots learn initial flying skills in a light aircraft not too dissimilar from civilian training aircraft. In this phase pilot candidates are screened for physical attributes. Aircraft used for this purpose include the Slingsby Firefly, as at one time used by the United States Air Force Academy, the Scottish Aviation Bulldogs of the RAF; the U. S. replaced the Firefly and the Enhanced Flight Screen Program with the Diamond DA20 and the Initial Flight Training program. At the end of this stage, pilot trainees are assessed and those who pass advance to the full pilot training program; those who are judged unsuitable for a pilot commission, but show other attributes, may be offered the chance to qualify as navigators and weapons officers.
Smaller and more financially restricted air forces may use ultra-light aircraft and motor gliders for this role. After the ab-initio phase a candidate may progress to primary, trainers; these are turboprop trainers, like the Pilatus PC-9 and Embraer Tucano. Modern turbo-prop trainers can replicate the handling characteristics of jet aircraft as well as having sufficient performance to assess a candidate's technical ability at an aircraft's controls, reaction speed and the ability to anticipate events. Prior to the availability of high performance turboprops, basic training was conducted with jet aircraft such as the BAC Jet Provost, T-37 Tweet, Fouga Magister; those candidates who are not suitable to continue training as fast jet pilots may be offered flying commissions and be trained to fly multi-engined aircraft. Today, the USAF Academy uses light piston-powered aircraft such as the Cirrus SR20 for basic cadet flight training; those that progress to training for fast jet flying will progress to an advanced trainer capable of high subsonic speeds, high-energy manoeuvers, equipped with systems that simulate modern weapons and surveillance.
Examples of such jet trainer aircraft include the supersonic Northrop T-38 Talon, the BAE Hawk, the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet, the Aero L-39 and the Yakovlev Yak-130. Effective combat aircraft are a function now of electronics as much as, if not more so than, the aerobatic ability or speed of an aircraft, it is at this stage that a pilot begins to learn to operate radar electronics. Modern advanced trainers feature programmable multi-function displays which can be programmed to simulate different electronic systems and scenarios. Most advanced trainers do not have radar systems of their own, but onboard systems can be programmed to simulate radar contacts. With datalinks and GPS, virtual radar systems can be created with equipped aircraft relaying to each other their positions in real time and onboard computers creating a radar display based on this information; the aim of programmable displays is to speed pilot training by replicating as far as possible the systems a pilot will find in an operational aircraft.
Lead-in fighter training utilises advanced jet trainer aircraft with avionics and stores-management capability that emulate operational fighter planes, to provide efficient training in combat scenarios with reduced training costs compared to moving straight to operational conversion. The on-board avionics system may be linked to ground-based systems, together they can simulate situations such as infrared or radar guided missile, air-to-air an
A General Officer is an officer of high rank in the army, in some nations' air forces or marines. The term "general" is used in two ways: as the generic title for all grades of general officer and as a specific rank, it originates in the 16th century, as a shortening of captain general, which rank was taken from Middle French capitaine général. The adjective general had been affixed to officer designations since the late medieval period to indicate relative superiority or an extended jurisdiction. Today, the title of "General" is known in some countries as a four-star rank; however different countries use other insignia for senior ranks. It has a NATO code of OF-9 and is the highest rank in use in a number of armies, air forces and marine organizations; the various grades of general officer are at the top of the military rank structure. Lower-ranking officers in land-centric military forces are known as field officers or field-grade officers, below them are company-grade officers. There are two common systems of general ranks used worldwide.
In addition, there is a third system, the Arab system of ranks, used throughout the Middle East and North Africa but is not used elsewhere in the world. Variations of one form, the old European system, were once used throughout Europe, it is used in the United Kingdom, from which it spread to the Commonwealth and the United States of America. The general officer ranks are named by prefixing "general", as an adjective, with field officer ranks, although in some countries the highest general officers are titled field marshal, marshal, or captain general; the other is derived from the French Revolution, where generals' ranks are named according to the unit they command. The system used either a colonel general rank; the rank of field marshal was used by some countries as the highest rank, while in other countries it was used as a divisional or brigade rank. Many countries used two brigade command ranks, why some countries now use two stars as their brigade general insignia. Mexico and Argentina still use two brigade command ranks.
In some nations, the equivalent to brigadier general is brigadier, not always considered by these armies to be a general officer rank, although it is always treated as equivalent to the rank of brigadier general for comparative purposes. As a lieutenant outranks a sergeant major; the serjeant major was the commander of the infantry, junior only to the captain general and lieutenant general. The distinction of serjeant major general only applied after serjeant majors were introduced as a rank of field officer. Serjeant was dropped from both rank titles, creating the modern rank titles. Serjeant major as a senior rank of non-commissioned officer was a creation; the armies of Arab countries use traditional Arabic titles. These were formalized in their current system to replace the Turkish system, in use in the Arab world and the Turco-Egyptian ranks in Egypt. Other nomenclatures for general officers include the titles and ranks: Adjutant general Commandant-general Inspector general General-in-chief General of the Army General of the Air Force General of the Armies of the United States, a title created for General John J. Pershing, subsequently granted posthumously to George Washington Generaladmiral Air general and aviation general Wing general and group general General-potpukovnik Director general Director general of national defence Controller general Prefect general Master-General of the Ordnance – senior British military position.
Police Director General. Commissioner Admiral In addition to militarily educated generals, there are generals in medicine and engineering; the rank of the most senior chaplain, is usually considered to be a general officer rank. In the old European system, a general, without prefix or suffix, is the most senior type of general, above lieutenant general and directly below field marshal as a four-star rank, it is the most senior peacetime rank, with more senior ranks being used only in wartime or as honorary titles. In some armies, the rank of captain general, general of the army, army general or colonel general occupied or occupies this position. Depending on circumstances and the army in question, these ranks may be considered to be equivalent to a "full" general or to a field marshal; the rank of general came about as a "captain-general", the captain of an army in general (i.e. th
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed for air-to-air combat against other aircraft, as opposed to bombers and attack aircraft, whose main mission is to attack ground targets. The hallmarks of a fighter are its speed and small size relative to other combat aircraft. Many fighters have secondary ground-attack capabilities, some are designed as dual-purpose fighter-bombers; this may be for national security reasons, for advertising purposes, or other reasons. A fighter's main purpose is to establish air superiority over a battlefield. Since World War I, achieving and maintaining air superiority has been considered essential for victory in conventional warfare; the success or failure of a belligerent's efforts to gain air superiority hinges on several factors including the skill of its pilots, the tactical soundness of its doctrine for deploying its fighters, the numbers and performance of those fighters. Because of the importance of air superiority, since the early days of aerial combat armed forces have competed to develop technologically superior fighters and to deploy these fighters in greater numbers, fielding a viable fighter fleet consumes a substantial proportion of the defense budgets of modern armed forces.
The word "fighter" did not become the official English-language term for such aircraft until after World War I. In the British Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force these aircraft were referred to as "scouts" into the early 1920s; the U. S. Army called their fighters "pursuit" aircraft from 1916 until the late 1940s. In most languages a fighter aircraft is known as hunting aircraft. Exceptions include Russian, where a fighter is an "истребитель", meaning "exterminator", Hebrew where it is "matose krav"; as a part of military nomenclature, a letter is assigned to various types of aircraft to indicate their use, along with a number to indicate the specific aircraft. The letters used to designate a fighter differ in various countries – in the English-speaking world, "F" is now used to indicate a fighter, though when the pursuit designation was used in the US, they were "P" types. In Russia "I" was used, while the French continue to use "C". Although the term "fighter" specifies aircraft designed to shoot down other aircraft, such designs are also useful as multirole fighter-bombers, strike fighters, sometimes lighter, fighter-sized tactical ground-attack aircraft.
This has always been the case, for instance the Sopwith Camel and other "fighting scouts" of World War I performed a great deal of ground-attack work. In World War II, the USAAF and RAF favored fighters over dedicated light bombers or dive bombers, types such as the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and Hawker Hurricane that were no longer competitive as aerial combat fighters were relegated to ground attack. Several aircraft, such as the F-111 and F-117, have received fighter designations though they had no fighter capability due to political or other reasons; the F-111B variant was intended for a fighter role with the U. S. Navy, but it was cancelled; this blurring follows the use of fighters from their earliest days for "attack" or "strike" operations against ground targets by means of strafing or dropping small bombs and incendiaries. Versatile multirole fighter-bombers such as the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet are a less expensive option than having a range of specialized aircraft types; some of the most expensive fighters such as the US Grumman F-14 Tomcat, McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and Russian Sukhoi Su-27 were employed as all-weather interceptors as well as air superiority fighter aircraft, while developing air-to-ground roles late in their careers.
An interceptor is an aircraft intended to target bombers and so trades maneuverability for climb rate. Fighters were developed in World War I to deny enemy aircraft and dirigibles the ability to gather information by reconnaissance over the battlefield. Early fighters were small and armed by standards, most were biplanes built with a wooden frame covered with fabric, a maximum airspeed of about 100 mph; as control of the airspace over armies became important, all of the major powers developed fighters to support their military operations. Between the wars, wood was replaced in part or whole by metal tubing, aluminium stressed skin structures began to predominate. On 15 August 1914, Miodrag Tomić encountered an enemy plane while conducting a reconnaissance flight over Austria-Hungary; the Austro-Hungarian aviator waved at Tomić, who waved back. The enemy pilot took a revolver and began shooting at Tomić's plane. Tomić fired back, he swerved away from the Austro-Hungarian plane and the two aircraft parted ways.
It was considered the first exchange of fire between aircraft in history. Within weeks, all Serbian and Austro-Hungarian aircraft were armed; the Serbians equipped their planes with 8-millimetre Schwarzlose MG M.07/12 machine guns, six 100-round boxes of ammunition and several bombs. By World War II, most fighters were all-metal monoplanes armed with batteries of machine guns or cannons and some were capable of speeds approaching 400 mph. Most fighters up to this point had one engine.