he 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.
The Patrouille Suisse was to disband by early 2016 when the Swiss Government would retire the F-5E and procure the Gripen E. It was finally decided not to buy the Gripen E and perhaps by the end of the 2016 season replace the six F-5Es with four F/A-18Cs without special paint schemes as well as a reduced show schedule. However, with the cancellation of the Gripen, the Swiss Parliament and Air Force have decided to operate 18 F-5E so the Patrouille Suisse should fly at least through 2018.