Swiss retiring a third of its F-5 fighter fleet

Nearly a third of the Swiss Air Force's F-5E/F aircraft are being retired because of structural cracks.
By Richard Tomkins   |   April 15, 2015 at 5:24 PM

BERN, Switzerland, April 15 (UPI) -- The Swiss Air Force is retiring nearly a third of its F-5E/F Tiger jets and repairing six others after discovering of structural cracks.

The Swiss Department of Defense, Civil Protection & Sports said a major crack on an F-5 Tiger's supporting structure was found in 2014 on an aircraft undergoing a major overhaul. A similar crack was found on a second aircraft this January, and the Air Force then ordered an inspection of its entire F-5 fleet.

Repair work on six of the F-5s will cost about $1 million.

The Swiss government said repairs on the six aircraft will be completed in the first quarter of next year. Additional details, however, were not disclosed.

The Northrop F-5 entered into service with the U.S. military in 1962. The Swiss Air Force acquired 110 single seat and double-seat variants between 1978 and 1984.

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