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First ARTEMIS F-5 arrives in US for training programme

12th April 2024 - 17:15 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


The first of 22 repatriated Swiss F-5 Tiger II aircraft arriving at the Tactical Air Support facility at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo: NAVAIR)

The Avionics Reconfiguration and Tactical Enhancement/Modernization for Inventory Standardization (ARTEMIS) programme has involved upgraded cockpit, avionics and supporting aircraft architecture. A total of 22 additional F-5s were procured from Switzerland to support ARTEMIS.

Swiss company RUAG has handed over the first of a total of 22 F-5 jets to US Navy Tactical Air Support (Tactical Air). Acting as a subcontractor on behalf of Tactical Air, RUAG has been responsible for performing inspections and selected structural work on the F-5 aircraft, as well as for overhauling the engines.

In July 2022, the US Navy assigned the contract for the ARTEMIS F-5 modernisation programme to Tactical Air. As a subcontractor of Tactical Air, RUAG has been responsible for specific maintenance services on the F-5 airframes and for the overhaul of the GE-J-85 engines after the US Navy acquired the 22 F-5 aircraft from the Swiss government several years ago.

The US Navy planned to use the F-5 fleet for its Red Air training programme (tactical pilot training) and to operate the aircraft until 2040 and beyond.

The level of work required will depend on the number of flight hours and the condition of the aircraft. RUAG has recently been working on four F-5 airframes. The first aircraft delivered will be further modernised by Tactical Air with the installation of a new cockpit and a modern avionics suite.

Capt Greg Sutton, programme manager for the Specialized and Proven Aircraft Program Office (PMA-226), said the effort was the culmination of several months of engineering and maintenance efforts performed by the Tactical Air Support team in close coordination with US Navy and US Marine Corps stakeholders.

RUAG has been performing the programme’s first phase with aircraft inspection, maintenance, structural component replacement, and engine modification and overhaul.

Upon completion of this phase, the aircraft are then transferred to Tactical Air Support’s facility to begin phase 2. During this phase, aircraft inspections, maintenance, and repair continue while integrating a new glass cockpit, modern avionics and other safety modifications.

Initial deliveries of the 22 aircraft have been planned by mid-2025 with programme completion in 2028 adding 11 F-5 Adversary aircraft to the each to the existing inventory of US Navy and US Marine Corps fleets.

The Shephard News Team


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