Circa 1975, after years, if not decades of putting up with flying “junk” from the obsoleted fleets of other countries’ airforces, TUDM decided it was time to upgrade and get up to speed, literally.
Bravo ! Give the men a Tiger ! And yes, 14 single-seat F5E Tiger II fighters and 2 two-seat versions were purchased from Northrop and added to the fleet. For the first time the airmen went supersonic, at Mach 1.6.
The salient features of this aircraft were the long sharp nose, and small wings. It is amazing that such ‘tiny’ wings could bear up to more than 11,000 kg maximum take-off weight.
I think they have been replaced by other modern jet fighters and fighter-bombers.
Interestingly, in Dec 2007, several of the J85-21 engines that powered these jets were stolen and sold in the Uruguayan black market.