Peter Lewis investigates the shake-up facing Switzerland’s long-serving fleet of F- 5E/F Tiger IIs.
SWISS AIR FORCE F-5
AT ONE TIME the Schweizer Luftwaffe (Swiss Air Force) Tiger II inventory peaked at more than 100 F-5E and F airframes, acquired in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Having had its combat aircraft status temporarily revoked, effectively removing the Tiger from the order of battle, the defence department is now being lobbied to reinstate the F-5’s frontline role. During the 2017 World Economic Forum, in which the air force maintained combat air patrols over Davos in the eastern part of the country, the F-5s had no operational tasking. All jet missions were flown by F/A-18 Hornets, despite the Tiger-equipped Fliegerstaffel 19 also being operational at Sion.