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Published on : Dec 30, 2014

As per recent reports, Saudi Arabia is aiming at offloading its remaining combat aircraft, the Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II. As per the details of the proposed sale, Saudi Arabia will be divesting itself of the 79 F-5 aircraft that was procured by the kingdom way back in the 1970s and the 1980s. The solicitation mentioned that the invitation to the tender required including a bank guarantee of 2% of the actual bid value of the particular tender that is to be sent in an envelope that is sealed. Also, the opening date of all envelopes is 20th February 2015. 

The Royal Saudi Air Force had already retired from the service of the remaining 110 F-5E/F/RF-5E aircraft that was received by the same under the Peace Hawk Program, an initiative of the US government. And this proposed sale will apparently have no impact on its capabilities. 

As per the estimates of the Northrop officials, about 800 to almost 1500 aircrafts that are in service today, consist of only 200 to 400 aircrafts that are in flying condition. The offer of launching 79 new aircrafts in the market will be a unique and welcoming opportunity for operators for replenishing their respective fleets whether with platforms to be incorporated as spares, or with additional flying platforms. 

This particular offer of Saudi is basically the second time that this kingdom is offering its surplus F-5 aircrafts for sale, with the prior offer for about 55 aircrafts that was made in the year 2009. During that time, Singapore and the Republic of Central Equatoria showed significant interest, however, no sale to either country was declared.

As per sources, it is not feasible to enumerate an exact inventory of operators, and the recipients of the Saudi aircrafts considering that the remaining F-5 users are in the developing world.