There will never be empty fighter pilot cockpits for lack of people willing to fly them. I'll put that on my tombstone.Quite well, I expect. The air force fielding the F-5s would have trouble recruiting pilots since they chose economy without regard to the lives of their pilots; the cockpits would likely be empty.
Land on a carrier? Carry more than a pair of bombs?There will never be empty fighter pilot cockpits for lack of people willing to fly them. I'll put that on my tombstone.
Did I say 5 F5s? At about $100 million (in today's money) for an F18 , you could buy 25 F5s or similar. Let's see who would come out on top in that fight. I know, I know - the F18 can do some things an F5 can't. Actually, uhm - what does it do that that makes it worth 25 simpler fighters? A big radar set in the nose? You can hang the same missiles on either, and sure, the bigger airplane will carry a few more. But not 25 times as many. I'm talking specifically about a fighter in a defense role.
I am not sure what Minnesota has to do with Canada. And contrary to what a lot of people think, we don't all live in igloos. It is a big,(very big) beautiful country. You just wish that you had moose in Georgia.Not sure the Canadian military budget, but then, who would want to invade Canada... the moose can have it. Ask anyone from Minnesota, eh?
If you hung the same missiles on the F-5 they'd be ballast. What would it cost to put in the fire control systems to make it capable of using them? The ratio just dropped again. Keep in mind the F-5 has no radar to begin with. So sure, I'd take a 5:1 deficit when you have BVR capability against a slower, less-capable aircraft.A big radar set in the nose? You can hang the same missiles on either...
Well, actually we see it today. Insurgents armed with rifles, improvised explosives and so on quite often holding ground against armies supported with high tech satellites, airplanes and helicopters. In some battles these insurgents have worked out to be more of an army, fielding signal intelligence, communication and radar jammers, and artillery. To the grief of the opponent that is fought to a standstill or beaten....
My final thought is, if this is a viable defense strategy, why isn't anyone doing it? Why not send overwhelming numbers of soldiers onto a battlefield armed with swords against a much smaller modern army, for instance?
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the F-5 precisely because of its simplicity. But I would rather trade complexity (and yes, cost) for overwhelming capability versus overwhelming numbers.
The other thing to remember is that with a 25:1 ratio (or a 5:1 ratio) is that you're gonna need 25x as many pilots, you're gonna burn many times more fuel, replace 25x more tires, etc. It isn't all about up-front costs...Well, in today's money for yesterday's airplane, maybe 25:1 is the right ratio. If you're suggesting fielding an air force of 50-year old aircraft then yes perhaps you could have that ratio. But that would be akin to fielding Eindeckers in overwhelming numbers to oppose Mustangs. (Just in terms of age and perhaps "used" cost--I know the capability gap is different).
The question you need to ask is, what would it cost to build a fleet of F-5s today. I don't know how to arrive at that answer but I doubt the unit cost would be $4M. So the 25:1 ratio is dropping.
Maybe a better way to arrive at the correct ratio would be to compare the cost of F-5s to their contemporaries. Globalsecurity.org says a Tiger cost about a third of the Phantom. I bet the cost of a new Tiger (that is, the same design, but manufactured today en masse--none of the Tigershark upgrades) might be built for what, $10-15M? Then, what is the operational readiness penalty to be paid for the older engine design? The cost of operating less efficient turbojets vs turbofans? My guess (pure SWAG) is that the proper ratio is closer to 5:1 or 10:1 at the outside best.