In mid-1990s, the ROCAF RF-104G were nearing the end of their service life.
To continuously fulfill the requirements for tactical reconnaissance, the ROCAF sent
seven low-time F-5E to STAe for conversion into the RF-5E.
(Some sources reported that eight F-5E were sent to STAe, one of which was used to
pay for the cost of conversion.)
Reconnaissance equipment on these ROCAF RF-5E include the KA-95, KA-87, RS710, and
Type 900 cameras.
To accomodate the cameras, the original AN/APQ-159 radar and one M39 cannon were
removed, and the nose was extended by 8 inches with six apertures added.
In addition, blasts were installed between the engine exhausts to balance the
weight of the new nose section.
Deliveries of the RF-5E commenced in August 1997.
They were first assigned to the 12th TRS of the 401th (5th) Composite Wing at Taoyuan,
to replace the RF-104G, which were finally retired on May 22, 1998.
As part of the ROCAF reorganization, the 401th CW was relocated to Hualien and
Taoyuan Air Base Command was established at Taoyuan on July 1, controlling the 8th Tactical Fighter Group.
As a result, the 4th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron stood up at Taoyuan under the 8th TFG
and took over the RF-5E.
||Formerly F-5E 5315
||Formerly F-5E 5316; w/o 10/12/03
||Formerly F-5E 5317
||Formerly F-5E 5318
||Formerly F-5E 5321
||Formerly F-5E 5323
||Formerly F-5E 5324