Northrop F-5 Tactical Fighter in the Close Support Role 650236
The nature of close air support and its operational criteria are defined, together with resultant aircraft design requirements. It is shown that the proper approach toward evaluation of the cost effectiveness of a close support aircraft requires examination of acquisition costs, maintenance and operations costs, aircraft responsiveness, effectiveness, and vulnerability, and that evaluation on the basis of payload and range alone can produce incorrect conclusions. The Northrop F-5 tactical fighter is examined for its close support capabilities. It is concluded that, because of the original design approach, the F-5 meets all close support fighter aircraft requirements.