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Old 11-30-2019, 10:30 AM   #1
JUSOCOM
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Default Please convince me..

Hello, The F-5 is in 50% off right now, but even though, still undecided if I should get it or did I really need it or not.

I'm in 50/50 to threw my money into the F-5, half of me want to give it a try, but also half of me whispering inside that it could be bored to fly.

So.. can you guys convince me to get the F-5 please?
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:48 AM   #2
BIGNEWY
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It is the closest you will get to a MiG-28

But seriously the F-5 is a lot of fun

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Old 11-30-2019, 11:00 AM   #3
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It is a fighter that requires a GCI to find targets for you.
It is limited to only dog fight or intercepting bombers, or to perform dumb bombing without even radar calculated impact point.

It might receive a upgrade to more capable variant, there is a own thread about that.

I would consider even a Mig-21Bis instead F-5E if you don't own that, and you don't have problems to get a warsaw pact fighter.

IMHO the F-5 falls little to niche group as it is more meant to third countries that USA wanted to sell fighters but nothing that would come close to theirs. Unlike what Soviet Union did, by selling the slightly lower version based previous upgrades.

For its price it ain't bad at all. But maybe it is just that there ain't so much content for it.

I personally place it to same category as L-39ZA. Regardless that doesn't have a radar, you are as limited and as capable to fight.

If the F-5 would at least receive a radar upgrade so it would look correctly and be possible to visually use for finding targets more easily using the scope, I would say it has then better situation.
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Old 11-30-2019, 01:27 PM   #4
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Overall I judge the F5 for me on the fact that it's one of the first modules I bought back in 2016 and I bungee back to flying it more than nearly any other type I have. You have to really work at it to nail the numbers when bombing, no fancy smart weapons in sight. Using rockets and strafing great fun also. Air to air, it's very closely matched to the Mig-21bis and if you like MP then a server like the Cold War server would be the goto place to test your abilities in the F5. I would take the plunge if I were you.
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Old 11-30-2019, 04:18 PM   #5
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So I tend to say that DCS handles more modern aircraft better than older ones for a number of reasons. Mostly AI which is more problematic at WVR and the lack of external guidance that older aircraft need more than modern ones.


The F-5 designed as a simple WVR fighter means that it does have to deal with some of DCS's limitations (though as DCS evolves, these issues are being addressed, AI having been given some attention recently) but it's capable enough to be worth using in my opinion.


As for the plane itself, it's clearly a low cost fighter. Fun to fly and pretty agile, but it's underpowered compared to adversaries. You'll likely be the slowest aircraft in an engagement. However the simple and reliable dogfight switch makes targeting easier than in something like the MiG-21. If you can get into combat unseen (which is one of the things which is wonky with AI) the F-5 is pretty deadly. It can still fight head to head, but you need to be careful to not burn your energy because you will have a harder time getting it back compared to other fighters. Also don't let yourself get outnumbered. You only have 2 missiles, although the gun has a good amount of ammo and the gun sight makes it likely you'll hit what you're shooting at. The F-5's radar is pretty good all things considered, but it's basically an attack radar. You won't really be able to search for targets without knowing their position in advance except maybe large bombers and transports.



If you want to perform air to ground missions, the plane is fine if you can manage without a complex bomb sight. For such a small fighter, the bomb load is pretty large and it's fast for an attack aircraft.
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Old 11-30-2019, 05:38 PM   #6
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The F-5 is an aircraft I always turn to for old school fun.

Having only two AIM-9's means she doesn't throw a lot of punches in A2A, but the two upper-cuts are fully capable of landing a knockout blow. As has been said, you do need some assistance to get you to find your targets, as the radar is used mostly for WVR locking and ranging when in DM or DG modes. Sounds weird, I know, but after using it a few times you'll understand.

The real fun of the F-5 comes in old school navigation and A2G missions. Navigating to a target zone via TACAN, RB, or good ole MK1 eyeball is hella fun in my book. None of that F10 hack here. It can take a little bit of practice, but rewarding when done right.

She can carry bombs (as many as nine), rockets, or a combination of. And again, without fancy computer assistance, it will require you to hit your marks on the bomb/rocket run. Knowing your proper air speeds and dive angles for a given depression are a must to put bombs on target accurately, and will take practice for sure. The real fun is having to make last second calculations in your head because for whatever reason, maybe your dive is too shallow/steep, or speed too fast/slow. Doing so with precision IMO is a thrill and a bit of a rush.

At 50% off the F-5 is a must have in my book; and something I don't think you would regret.

Last edited by Baaz; 11-30-2019 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 11-30-2019, 05:49 PM   #7
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Depends on what modules you already own. If you haven't got the Harrier yet spend your money on that instead. In saying that, the F5 is easily worth the sale price. Despite having all modules, I often find myself flying and ground pounding in the F5.
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Old 11-30-2019, 07:06 PM   #8
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As much as I personally like the F-5 module, I can't help but feel that it gets a bit too aggressively oversold and perhaps for reasons that require more context than they often get. Don't get me wrong, it is a good module and I enjoy flying it a great deal. It is just that when you start building realistic/plausible missions, you will find that it gets VERY difficult to put in as anything more than a somewhat disposable light bomber with pretty limited range/altitude capability.

This might be a controversial thing to say but I think this module gets a lot of attention and aggressive recommendations because it is very quick to learn and fits well into BVR dogfight scenarios both on and offline. This is the kind of module you can pretty easily get the general gist of in a afternoon and while there are some things that require skill and practice (bombing in particular does require good flying), it doesn't have a lot to it and for a experienced DCS player who might have already learned the F-14, A-10C, F/A-18C, or other similar modules, it will be a quick learning experience to say the least. For some, that quick process will be refreshing. For others, it will be somewhat underwhelming.

Air to air combat is another thing that needs to be talked about a bit. The F-5 we have in DCS is very much a BVR only platform that relies entirely on its sidewinders and guns. It has a radar but like the MiG-21Bis and MiG-19, that radar is more for the gun sight than anything else. It is not really a search radar by any means and having it on before you are right on the enemy's six will be more of a liability than anything else.

To put this a bit more directly. If you are flying a F-5 in a environment where there are 4th gen jets flown by competent and knowledgeable players, the F-5 is going to be a fairly easy target since they will see you, lock you up, and fire a few missiles at you before you even have a chance to meaningfully engage them. If said competent and knowledgeable players are set out to take you down while flying their F-15's, F-16's, F/A-18's, MiG-29's, Su-27's, and Mirage's, there is not a whole lot that you will be able to do to stop them. You just don't have the engine power, sensors, or weapons to meaningfully defend yourself. This doesn't mean that you won't occasionally succeed. Heck, you might even get kills online but that probably has more to do with some of the common habits of players online rather than the capability of the aircraft themselves.

After some years of flying and learning the F-5 module, I have found that it really is best seen as a light bomber when thinking about mission scenarios. In that capacity, it can carry enough weapons to have a meaningful impact on a target while not getting into areas it can't really deal with due to lack of equipment/capability. Likewise, if you use it in a very controlled guns/IR missile only PvP or single player environment, it can do better in a air to air engagement. You will still have to deal with its lack of thrust but at least you will be on roughly equal ground in terms of weaponry.

If you use it like a DACT focused training aircraft, the F-5 that we have in DCS makes a lot of sense. If you try to push it into air to air roles in missions that are not HEAVILY focused on "fair" dogfights with guns/IR missiles only, you will quickly reach the limits of the aircraft and any determined player in a more capable platform will probably find you to be a fairly easy target.

The F-5 is a great module. It is well made and very fun to fly on its own terms. Just go into it with both eyes open and understand that it has limits that can be fun to explore but should not be dismissed.
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Old 11-30-2019, 07:33 PM   #9
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I would suggest the F-5 to you for many reasons others already posted above.

Talking about jets now:
For me the F-5 currently is one of not many "fully programmed" aircraft in DCS that really works and is "finished" according to my understanding (an my own perception of the whole "DCS thing").
Flying the MiG-28 (as a black F-5) against a trainee who wants to try out things is a lot of fun. It needs trim, yes, but this and all other features like TACAN, the radar, the RWR, ... bring you to a higher level.
The aircraft looks awesome from outside and inside. I'm a huge fan of HB aircraft (Viggen, F-14), but when it comes to training with my friends, or A2G in a battlefield which needs flexibility, I love to use the F-5 like no other.

Slim, fast, and powerful, and awesome look. And super cheap these days!
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:44 AM   #10
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F-5 Is a 1970 era aircraft so yes, It Is less capable than 4th gen fighters and it's only wvr even if It has a radar: the radar Is Just a help to calculate optimum firing range but Is not useful to track distant targets. In a-g It Is all manual. I have both f-5 and mig-21, maybe mig-21 is slightly more fun to fly but very similar in capabilities. If you design and play missions with the appropriate assets both are amazing modules. You fly manually without hud and computers. These kind of planes belong to that era in which you had amazing performance like modern fighters but no computers / GPS / datalinks and bvr capabilities: It was still the man and not the machine to make the difference. So yes, I highly suggest, but use with wisdom otherwise you'll get frustrated against f-18s and such. Play against mig-21 and older ground assets and you'll have a lot of fun.
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