Tunisia considering F-5 avionics upgrade


Tunisia may upgrade its fleet of a dozen Northrop F-5 Tiger II fighter jets with new avionics in a deal potentially worth around $60 million.

On September 18 the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Tunisia of F-5 avionics upgrades after Tunisia requested a possible Bock 1 Avionics Upgrades for its 12 F-5s.

The upgrade includes 12 LN-260 Standard Positioning System Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems (GPS/INS), Control Display Units, Electrical Power, and Environmental Control Systems, repairs, inspections, training and documentation.

If the deal goes ahead, the upgrade work will be carried out by Northrop Grumman and take no longer than two years.

The Force Aerienne de la Republique de Tunisie received eight F-5E and four F-5F aircraft between 1984 and 1985 and five ex-US Air Force F-5Es in 1989, but several have been lost in crashes, with at least two F-5Es and an F-5F being rendered unserviceable.

The F-5 is an important aircraft for the Tunisian Republic Air Force, as it is the country’s main air defence aircraft. The type is flown by 15 Squadron from the Air Force’s Bizerte-Sidi Ahmed air base.