Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA3342 Northrop F-5S Tiger II 874, 149 Squadron "Shikra", RSAF 2008

The Northrop F-5 tactical fighter was designed as an extremely maneuverable, supersonic fighter with a high rate of reliability at a low operating cost. The F-5 first flew on July 30, produced in 1989 and about two-thirds of these are still in service with 26 countries more than 4 decades later. The F-5 was manufactured by Northrop Grumman and under license in Canada, Taiwan, South Korea, Spain and Switzerland.

With Britain withdrawing all its forces from Singapore and region by 1971 Singapore had to develop its own air force. One unit that eventually formed was the 144th Squadron “Blackite” on February 19, 1979. The Blackite is a mysterious bird that is unpredictable, precise and deadly. The 144th was equipped with Northrop F-5E/F and later upgraded to F-5S/T carrying Aim-120 AMRAAM. In 2014 F-5S 819 received a stunning work of art on its tail. The following year when the 144th Squadron was disbanded F-5T 853 received a similar but much more elaborate scheme.

The F-5S is an upgraded version of the F-5E The F-5T is an upgraded version of the F-5F
Specification for the Northrop F-5E/ F-5F Tiger II
Number Built – 1,400 + E/F
Role F-5F - Two-seat Combat Trainer Version Of The F-5E Tiger II
Length (F-5E) - 47 feet 4.75 inch (14.65 m) Length (F-5F) - 51 feet 4 inch (15.65 m) Wingspan F-5E & F-5F – 26 ft 8 in Height (F-5E) - 13 feet 4 inch (4.06 m) Height (F-5F) - 13 feet 1.75 inch (4.01 m)
Empty Weight (F-5E) – 9,723 lb (4,410 kg) Empty Weight (F-5F) - 10,576 lb (4,797 kg) Max Take-off Weight (F-5E) - 24,722 lb (11,214 kg) Max Take-off Weight (F-5F) - 25,152 lb (11,409 kg)
Powerplant – 2 x General Electric J85-GE-21B Turbojets With 5,000 lb.s.t. With Afterburning Maximum Speed F-5E – Mach 1.64 @ 36,000 ft Maximum Speed F-5F – Mach 1.55 @ 36,000 ft Range (F-5E) - 1,545 nm (2,863 km) Range (F-5F) - 1,270 nm (2,353 km) Service Ceiling (F-5E) - 51,800 ft (15,780 m) Service Ceiling (F-5F) - 50,800 ft (15,484 m) Max Rate of Climb (F-5E) - 34,500 feet/min Max Rate of Climb (F-5F) - 32,900 feet/min
1 x In-Nose 20mm M39A2 Cannon With 140 Rounds 2 x AIM-9 Sidewinder Missiles On Wing Tips 5 x Pylons Capable Of Carrying Up To 7,000 lbs. Of Ordnance Or Fuel 1 x Under Fuselage Center-line 4 x Under Wing (2/Wing)