The F-5A/B Skoshi Tiger and F-5E Tiger II are perhaps the most un-appreciated aircraft of the Vietnam War. Its history in combat over Vietnam has yet to be told and understood. Utilized by the Republic of Vietnam Air Force, it was the backbone of air defense. Little known is the fact that the Skoshi tigers flew combat air patrols over North Vietnam. It was also used extensively as a ground attack aircraft, capable of carrying 8,000 pounds of ordnance. The F-5 was the first and only supersonic aircraft in the Vietnamese inventory. With its low visual cross section, coupled with its high speed, the F-5 was extremely survivable in combat. Several F-5As returned to base after sustaining missile hits in their engine tailpipes. Designed as a reliable and maintainable aircraft, these features were put to good use by the Vietnamese in greatly expanded sortie-generation rates. The author, Anthony Tambini, has first-hand knowledge of F-5 and the Republic of Vietnam Air Force, having spent three years as a civilian technical advisor. He has do-cumented the history of the F-5 in service with the Vietnam Air Force.
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