Hobbymaster 1/72nd scale HA3341 Northrop F-5S Tiger II 819, 144th Squadron, RSAF, 2016. Buy online at Flying Tigers.
The 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.
With Great Britain withdrawing all its forces from Singapore and region by 1971 Singapore had to develop its own air force. One unit that eventually formed was the 144th Squadron “Blackite” on February 19, 1979. The Blackite is a mysterious bird that is unpredictable, precise and deadly. The 144th was equipped with Northrop F-5E/F and later upgraded to F-5S/T carrying Aim-120 AMRAAM. In 2014 F-5S 819 received a stunning work of art on its tail. The following year when the 144th Squadron was disbanded F-5T 853 received a similar but much more elaborate scheme.