Rank 6 premium jets are coming in the next major update, and the first one to be added into the game is the F-5C Skoshi Tiger for the USA. This aircraft is one of the iconic strike planes of the Vietnam War. Very light and agile yet very powerful and able to load an impressive amount of ordnance, the F-5C is a formidable multirole fighter.
- Very flexible with wide payload options
- Small, extremely agile and retains energy well
- 2 decent interior cannons
- Flares & chaff
- Some armour plating under the cockpit and engine
- Premium aircraft - earns extra RP & SL with extra decal slots and low crew train cost
- High BR (10.0?) so high earnings and top tier gameplay
- Average top speed of 1400kph/1.13 Mach and mediocre acceleration
- No RWR or radar
- AIM-9E as the best AAM
- $60 USD price
- New players will buy straight into top tier
The F-5C Skoshi Tiger was a modification of the pre-existing F-5A Freedom Fighter during the Vietnam War in October 1965 by the USAF to extend its range by adding a refuelling probe and drop tanks. 12 aircraft were tested by the 4503rd Tactical Fighter Squadron for the next 6 months, flying an astounding 2,600 sorties from both Bien Hoa and the infamous Da Nang Air Base, with 9 losses.
After some controversy on whether or not to export the F-5, in June 1967 the surviving aircraft were transferred to the Republic of Vietnam Air Force, where they served until the capitulation of South Vietnam in 1975. The F-5C is a relatively unknown variant that saw extensive action and is considered as bridging the gap between the F-5A Freedom Fighter and the F-5E and G Tiger II, the truly venerable modernisations of this aircraft.
The F-5C in-game has a reported top speed of 1400kph or Mach 1.13, which while fairly good, won't have you outrunning most top tier aircraft. Whilst not supermanoeuvrable, it is still very agile and with high energy retention and the light weight, you will often find yourself out-turning opponents, especially in a prolonged dogfight. Its wings are also notoriously hard to rip, so don't feel afraid to pull some unorthodox manoeuvres to get behind your enemy - the airframe can likely take it.
The main guns on the F-5C are serviceable for what will be asked of them, and since you only get AIM-9B and Es at best (and only 2 of them at that), you will be using these guns more than the aircraft initially leads on. AIM-9Es are a good enough missile but considering this aircraft's likely BR of 10.0, AIM-9Es just aren't going to cut it at top tier. Luckily, it'll still be a comfortable platform to fly with and so landing some precision shots with the high-velocity M39A2 revolving cannons shouldn't be a problem.
The ground-attacking options for the F-5C are where this plane becomes really impressive. Not because they're ridiculously powerful - they're good, but not amazing. The point is that this plane can dogfight well, it can intercept well, it can ground attack well and it can bomb well. It can carry 4 AGM-12B Bullpup missiles, 76 Mighty Mouse or 8 Zuni unguided rockets, and various bomb configurations of 18x 250lb, 5x 750lb, 5x 500lb, 3x 1000lb, or 1x 2000lb. The AGMs, rockets and bombs are also interchangeable so you can mix and match loadouts of weapon type to tailor to your needs. The AIM-9s are wing-mounted while the ordnance is on underwing pylons, so perhaps you will be able to equip the AIM-9s while also carrying ground ordnance, which if possible, will be really powerful.
Overall this truly multirole fighter will feel extremely comfortable as a grinder for the US tree as it is flexible to whatever role you want to use it in and it will fill whatever you ask of it quite well. It's a great premium for history fans and will likely be a joy to grind the US tree with, and my speculation is (since Gaijin only adds premiums to the top rank when they're adding a new rank), the new Rank 7 jets this patch.
The F-5C Skoshi Tiger is currently available for pre-order on the Gaijin Store and comes along with 2000 GE, 15 days of premium time, a historical 'Aggressors squadron' camouflage, decal and unique title 'Aggressors' for $60 USD.
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