US Navy plans upgrade of former Swiss Tiger IIs

The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has issued the so-called Avionics Reconfiguration and Tactical Enhancement/Modernization for Inventory Standardization (ARTEMIS) programme. This programme requires aircraft retrofit installations to be performed on sixteen F-5E and six F-5F Tiger IIs, formerly owned by the Schweizer Luftwaffe (Swiss Air Force).

The planned modifications include both the airframes and their J85-21 engines. The US Navy intends to award a five year exclusive contract to Tactical Air Support, Inc. (Tactical Air) as from 15 June 2021.

The ARTEMIS aircraft are currently in a non-flyable/preserved status which requires block upgrade system integration, modifications, and, aircraft and engine overhaul. Grouping these efforts will eliminate duplication of efforts, specifically aircraft/engine build-up and tear down, procurement of obsolete weapons replacement assemblies and the requirement for multiple functional check flights. As a result, the programme will be more efficient resulting in shortened turnaround times and significant reduction in risk to the US Government.

The first delivery of an ARTEMIS upgraded Tiger II is expected in Q4 of 2022. After upgrade, the Tigers will be designated as F-5N+ and F-5F+. At a later stage, the ARTEMIS programme will provision kits and integrate the Block Upgrade System in up to forty additional currently in-service F-5N/Fs.

So far we only know the identities of the following eight former Swiss Air Force F-5E/Fs. If you have updates on these identities, please let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

F-5E: J-3052, J-3076, and ...
F-5F: J-3204, J-3205, J-3206, J-3207, J-3208, and J-3209

Photos by Jurgen van Toor

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