About This File
BF-5A Freedom Fighter for STRIKE FIGHTERS 2
This is a very simple mod of 'The Mirage Factory' F-5A/F-5C to create a fictional export version in service with the Belgian Air Force during the 1970-1991 timeline with markings for No.1, No.2, No.8 and No.42 smaldeel (the latter unit tasked with reconnaissance).
During the first half of the 1960's, Belgium and the Netherlands both started looking for a replacement for their F-84F Thunderstreak fighter-bombers and the Lockheed T-33 advanced trainer for delivery around 1970. After both countries had written their individual requirements 12 potential aircraft were studied resulting in a shortlist consisting of the A-7 Corsair, the A-4 Skyhawk, the CL-984 (a version of the F-104), the Mirage 5 and the F-5A. In the mood of the times, Europe was awash with joint requirements and collaborative programmes so it was quite appropriate for the two nations to work together for maximum standarisation so the BAF and KLu issued 'Specification TFT70' a joint requirement for a tactical fighter and advanced trainer.
After exhaustive testing and evaluation both airforces reported to their respective Ministers of Defence, that with some adjustments, the F-5A fighter-bomber and the F-5B advanced trainer were their preferred choice. However, the Belgians had a problem in that Wallonia (the French-speaking part of the country) preferred a French plane (i.e. the Mirage) but after protracted political discussions including the promise of a good share in the license production of the airframe by SABCA and the engines by FN (both based in Wallonia) the F-5 was chosen. In the Netherlands Fokker was chosen to participate in the manufacturing program.
However, during this time Northrop had increased the price of the baseline F-5A by no less than 11% leading both countries to make a deal with Canadair who had recently acquired a production license for their CF-5 derivative. With its more powerful Orenda J85-15 engines and a more sophisticated navigation system this was a step in the direction the BAF and the KLu needed. With further modifications including more advanced avionics, moving-map navigation, radar altimeter, SAAB BT9 bombing computer, bigger underwing droptanks, a two-position nose wheel strut, extra auxiliary louvre-type air inlets for take off and manoeuvering flaps it resulted in the most advanced F-5A ever produced. Compared to the F-5A the more advanced BF/NF-5A promised to be a superb multi-role tactical fighter with a useful air-to-air capability due to it's 50% increase in turn rate over the 'vanilla' F-5A.
In early 1968 both Belgium and the Netherlands each ordered 80 single-seat BF/NF-5A's and 20 two-seat BF/NF-5B's advanced trainers for delivery during 1970 and by the beginning of 1972 both countries had 4 front-line squadrons and an OCU operational in service. The aircraft were generally popular with pilots and ground-crew alike and served both airforces well before slowly being retired during the latter part of the 1980's and by the early 1990's most BF/NF-5's had been retired with most being sold on to Greece, Turkey and Venezuela.
1. From the AIRCRAFT folder drag and drop the BF-5A folder into your Aircraft folder.
2. From the DECALS folder drag and drop the BF-5A folder into your main Decals folder.
3. From the PILOTS folder drag and drop the PILOT_BAF folder into you main Pilots folder.
4. From the WEAPONS folder drag and drop the F-5C_TIPTANK and F-5C_WINGTANK folders into your main Weapons folder.
Thanks to Third Wire for the continuous improvement of a great little game/sim.
Thanks to Sony Tuckson of 'The Mirage Factory' for permission to mod their F-5A and F-5C.
Thanks to Derk for the BF-5A idea and for the bulk of the backstory. This is more of a 'nearly was' than a 'what if'.
And thanks to everyone in the wider Third Wire community.
Version 1 - 30/03/13
What's New in Version Version 1
- Screenshot added.