The Northrop F-5 tactical fighter was designed as an extremely maneuverable, supersonic fighter with a high rate of reliability at a low operating cost. The F-5 first flew on July 30, 1959 with the first customer delivery in 1964. The last of more than 2,600 F-5’s was produced in 1989 and about two-thirds of these are still in service with 26 countries more than 4 decades later. The F-5 was manufactured by Northrop Grumman and under license in Canada, Taiwan, South Korea, Spain and Switzerland.
In 2004 twelve Swiss Air Force F-5Es were leased to Austria for four years while they waited for the new Euro Fighters. F-5E J-3038 was one of the twelve aircraft and continued to fly with the Austrian AF as J-3038. On June 30, 2008 the leased aircraft were returned to the Swiss AF and once again J-3038 was Swiss. In 2013 J03038 was given a special paint scheme to honor Staffel 19 “Swans” 75th Anniversary of its formation on January 1, 1938.