The US Navy has successfully completed the engineering phase of F-5N+/F+ avionics reconfiguration and tactical enhancement/modernisation for inventory standardisation (ARTEMIS) programme.

The ARTEMIS programme has now reached Milestone C decision, which will be followed by production and deployment phases.

The key milestone was achieved by the US Navy’s Specialised and Proven Aircraft programme office (PMA-226) on 28 June.

PMA-226 programme manager captain Gregory Sutton said: “This programme will provide a fleet of upgraded, safe and modernised adversary aircraft, providing realistic and relevant tactical training that our aviators need to win the fight.”

Under this programme, the PMA-226 Adversary Team is inducting 22 repatriated Swiss Air Force’s F-5E/F aircraft.

The effort aims to meet the requirements of the US Navy and Marine Corps (USMC) by increasing the fleet’s adversary training capacity with high-altitude tactical jets.

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The modernisation programme involves reconfiguration of airframes and conversion of F-5E/F engines to the USMC and Navy standard F-5N/F.

Subsequently, the project will incorporate block upgrade, comprising of a new glass cockpit and avionics suite, which uses modern aircraft technology to enhance safety and capability.

Following the block upgrade, the fleet of 22 aircraft will move to the F-5N+/F+ baseline configuration. 

The Adversary Team is executing the ARTEMIS programme in collaboration with industry partner, Tactical Air Support (TAS).

TAS has performed similar modernisation and safety upgrades on its own F-5AT aircraft, which is currently supporting PMA-226 tactical fighter training.