Northrop Grumman to support Taiwan F-5 fleet with new parts

11 February 2020

The United States has contracted Northrop Grumman to build new-build spare parts to support Taiwan’s fleet of F-5 combat aircraft. Source: Jane’s/James Hardy

Northrop Grumman has been contracted to provide parts for the F-5 Tiger II combat aircraft in support of a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) customer, which is understood to be Taiwan.

The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity announced on 10 February is for USD9.9 million and will run through to 22 October 2022. Although Taiwan is not named in the Department of Defense (DoD) notification, it follows a request for information (RFI) for new-build parts to sustain the Republic of China Air Force's (RoCAF's) single-seat F-5E and twin-seat F-5F platforms that was issued by the US Air Force (USAF) in April 2019.

"The Proven Aircraft Program Office, located at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is anticipating the award of a contract to procure F-5 unique parts from qualified manufacturers. Parts must be factory new or new manufacture and not from aftermarket vendors," the RFI said, adding that the USAF planned to begin the effort in fiscal year (FY) 2020.

A total of 1,771 parts are required, although the USAF did not specify what they might be. The RFI for new parts for the RoCAF's F-5 fleet came about six months after the USAF issued an earlier solicitation for surplus parts, ranging from windshield panels to circuit cards.

The RoCAF originally received 242 F-5E and 66 F-5F aircraft in 1974 and 1976 respectively, although it is unclear how many remain operational today. In sustaining its ageing F-5s, Taiwan is trying to offset an anticipated 'fighter gap' that is expected to emerge with the retirement of its Dassault Mirage 2000s and the delayed receipt of new-build F-16Vs.

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