Saudi Arabia offers surplus F-5s for sale

Combat Medic

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Saudi Arabia offers surplus F-5s for sale



Saudi Arabia is offering for sale 79 surplus F-5 combat aircraft that it procured in the 1970s and 1980s. Photo: IHS/Harry M Steele
Saudi Arabia is looking to offload its remaining Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II combat aircraft, according to a solicitation posted online on 18 December.

The proposed sale, details of which were posted on the AvBuyer website, will see the Kingdom divest itself of 79 F-5 aircraft that it procured in the 1970s and 1980s.

The solicitation said the invitation to tender needed to include a "2% bank guarantee of the actual bid value of the tender to be sent in a sealed envelope", adding that the opening date for all envelopes would be 20 February 2015.

ANALYSIS
The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) has already retired from the service the last of the approximately 110 F-5E/F/RF-5E aircraft that it received under the US government's Peace Hawk programme, so this proposed sale will not impact upon its capabilities.

Northrop officials have estimated that there are still 800-1,500 F-5 aircraft in service today, of which only about 200-400 are believed to still be in flying condition. As such, the offer of 79 'new' aircraft onto the market will provide a rare and welcome opportunity for operators to replenish their fleets, whether with additional flying platforms or with platforms to be used for spares.

This Saudi offer is actually the second time that the Kingdom has offered its surplus F-5s for sale, with a previous offer for 55 aircraft having been made in 2009. At that time, interest was shown from the Republic of Central Equatoria (now part of South Sudan) and Singapore, although no sale to either nation was announced.

With most remaining F-5 users being in the developing world, it is not possible to list an accurate inventory of operators and numbers, or likely recipients of these Saudi aircraft. Whoever does receive them, however, should receive support from the original equipment manufacturer, Northrop, which in 2010 announced that it was teaming with RUAG Aviation and Astronautics to provide an F-5 Tiger and T-38 Talon support and sustainment programme.

At the time of the announcement at the Farnborough Airshow in 2010, Northrop executives said that, although 50 years old, the F-5 still has 20 years of operational life left in it.

Saudi Arabia offers surplus F-5s for sale - IHS Jane's 360
 
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So who is going to buy those surplus warplanes? The Daesh? Some other country in the Middle-East? I am not sure how many countries in the world have the expertise to make use of such warplanes.
 

Scorpion

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So who is going to buy those surplus warplanes? The Daesh? Some other country in the Middle-East? I am not sure how many countries in the world have the expertise to make use of such warplanes.
Daesh...|0|

The f-5 is still kicking. Many countries are still operating it as we speak. I think some South Asian and also some African countries might show interest in procuring it.
 

Dez97

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I'm sure some country will buy it because they will take it as an opportunity to see what Saudi Arabia has really been working with all this time. So whether it is Daesh or another country....someone will buy it to get an insight.
 

Gasoline

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I think it's still working so selling it is better than throwing it as scrap.

The F-5 is still working in many Air forces around the world.
Countries differ from each others in capabilities not all riches so they can launch F-15, F-16 or Typhoo or high tech airplanes.

So, someone will buy it even if it's not working to provide spares to their f-5 squadrons .
 
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One question arises, though. How did they end up with a surplus? We are not talking about just one or two extra planes. This is a lot of extra planes. I smell something fishy. Who gains from buying warplanes which are not wanted?
 

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One question arises, though. How did they end up with a surplus? We are not talking about just one or two extra planes. This is a lot of extra planes. I smell something fishy. Who gains from buying warplanes which are not wanted?
I was wondering the same thing. They acquired the planes from us during a program we offered to help them. I'm not familiar with this plan as its before my time. However, after a couple of decades, they have a decent working surplus? How? Why? And the article says it is now hard to know who has this technology. Will this prove to be problematic in the future in any way?
 

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I was wondering the same thing. They acquired the planes from us during a program we offered to help them. I'm not familiar with this plan as its before my time. However, after a couple of decades, they have a decent working surplus? How? Why? And the article says it is now hard to know who has this technology. Will this prove to be problematic in the future in any way?
Saudi Arabia operates around 400 fighter jets. Im talk about new ones not the f-5.

The f-5 were for reconnaissance purposes but now they don't need the f-5 anymore. Saudi Arabia has the AWACS and tens of similar ones.

The f-5 is a bit costly in term of maintenance despite the $$ Saudi Arabia has.
 

Peachdejour

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Saudi Arabia operates around 400 fighter jets. Im talk about new ones not the f-5.

The f-5 were for reconnaissance purposes but now they don't need the f-5 anymore. Saudi Arabia has the AWACS and tens of similar ones.

The f-5 is a bit costly in term of maintenance despite the $$ Saudi Arabia has.
Okay, I can understand that. So, they have upgrades to better technology, but see no reason that this technology should go to waste. I guess I can understand that. I kind of wish they were keeping better tabs on it. They might be and we don't know that they are doing so. If they are costly to maintain, it probably wouldn't be in the best interest of a developing country to purchase them would it?
 
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If they are costly to maintain, it probably wouldn't be in the best interest of a developing country to purchase them would it?
That would depend on how good the Saudi salesman is. People have been known to pay good money for junk. Don't see why the same thing cannot happen with fighter planes. I remember a report many years ago of a country buying tanks which were fitted with cannons that heavy that the tanks tended to fall over. Sounded rather stupid but the tanks got sold somehow.
 

Gasoline

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If they are costly to maintain, it probably wouldn't be in the best interest of a developing country to purchase them would it?
:)
Let me explain to you deeply .
It's costly in Saudi Arabia case, while in another country won't be costly to them.

It's costly for Saudi Arabia because they have variety of fighters (3rd,4th,4th++ generations) so, keeping all generations ready in excellent state will cost a lot of money because maintenance experts, support and spares parts offered by the manufacturer company of these fighters (Saudi Arabia doesn't manufacture spares and other parts). Also, Saudis have other fighters can do F-5's job such as F-15 or Tornado ,so keeping the F-5s isn't economically feasible .

While other countries have the affordability to carry the costs of F-5 maintenance operations because they have just 1 or 2 types of fighters so, having 1 additional type will be easy to them with acceptable costs.


The matter is like that if you have 10 cars and you can't carry its costs to be workable for all time.. Then you decided to sell the 2 older ones to reduce the costs ..Normally, the customer will be able to buy your 2 cars and carry its maintenance costs.;)
 

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It is interesting to see who buys these because it really is wasted money. While F5s are still in operation, they ware nothing more than target practice for anything made in the last 20 years. If some SE Asia country buys them and thinks they will help against China.. well, they would not even be a speed bump for China.

The timing of this is curious, because one thing I have said is that I think Saudi is going to be rewarded for their help with Russia and tanking oil prices. Saudi is acting against their own best interest and seems to be tanking oil on purpose, I can only think there is some reward in it for them, and I would not be surprised if it was a generational upgrade for their military
 

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:)
Let me explain to you deeply .
It's costly in Saudi Arabia case, while in another country won't be costly to them.

It's costly for Saudi Arabia because they have variety of fighters (3rd,4th,4th++ generations) so, keeping all generations ready in excellent state will cost a lot of money because maintenance experts, support and spares parts offered by the manufacturer company of these fighters (Saudi Arabia doesn't manufacture spares and other parts). Also, Saudis have other fighters can do F-5's job such as F-15 or Tornado ,so keeping the F-5s isn't economically feasible .

While other countries have the affordability to carry the costs of F-5 maintenance operations because they have just 1 or 2 types of fighters so, having 1 additional type will be easy to them with acceptable costs.


The matter is like that if you have 10 cars and you can't carry its costs to be workable for all time.. Then you decided to sell the 2 older ones to reduce the costs ..Normally, the customer will be able to buy your 2 cars and carry its maintenance costs.;)
Thank you! That makes perfect sense. I did not realize they had several types of planes now. They are making a very economically sound decision in selling these planes while possibly helping a developing nation. While petesede says they are nothing more than target practice, it is better to have some planes than no planes when in a wartime situation. As for the oil situation, I could see this being a possibility.
 

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As always, Saudi is a country of businessmen and business always comes first. They may want to donate or loan (rent to own) some of those surplus combat planes to third world countries in dire need of equipment upgrade.
 

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Any announced potential buyers? I'm wondering who is interested in buying such old gear.
 
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