F-104A (China)

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␗F-104A Starfighter
General characteristics
1 personCrew
24 tTake-off weight
13.17 kg/sBurst mass
Flight characteristics
18900 mCeiling
General Electric J79-GE-3Engine
airCooling system
Speed of destruction
1527 km/hStructural
546 km/hGear
Offensive armament
20 mm M61 cannonWeapon 1
750 roundsAmmunition
6000 shots/minFire rate
Suspended armament
2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder air-to-air missilesSetup 1
390000 Rp icon.pngResearch
1010000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png27890 / 36926/8700 / 11518/9100 / 12048Repair
290000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
1010000 Sl icon.pngExperts
2600 Ge icon.pngAces
226 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
490 % Sl icon.png240 % Sl icon.png120 % Sl icon.png
This page is about the jet fighter F-104A (China). For other versions, see F-104 (Family).


GarageImage F-104A (China).jpg

The ␗F-104A Starfighter is a rank VI Chinese jet fighter with a battle rating of 9.7 (AB/SB) and 10.0 (RB). It was introduced in Update "Starfighters".

General info

Flight performance

Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 10,668 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 2,104 2,079 18900 32.4 33.0 190.9 182.9 1,180
Upgraded ___ ___ __._ __._ __._ __._


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear Drogue chute
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
1527 546 N/A 833 444 ~12 ~5
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 720 < 950 < 800 N/A

Engine performance

Engine Aircraft mass
Engine name Number Basic Mass Wing loading (full fuel)
General Electric J79-GE-3 1 6,182 kg 513 kg/m2
Engine characteristics Mass with fuel (no weapons load) Max Takeoff
Weight (each) Type 10m fuel 20m fuel 30m fuel 35m fuel
1,750 kg Afterburning axial-flow turbojet 6,947 kg 7,712 kg 8,477 kg 8,859 kg 24,000 kg
Maximum engine thrust @ 0 m (RB / SB) Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)
Condition 100% WEP 10m fuel 20m fuel 30m fuel 35m fuel MTOW
Stationary 3,936 kgf 6,061 kgf 0.87 0.79 0.71 0.68 0.25
Optimal 3,936 kgf
(0 km/h)
7,751 kgf
(1,200 km/h)
1.12 1.00 0.91 0.87 0.32

Survivability and armour

The F-104A is not equipped with any armour plating, and is therefore rather vulnerable to enemy fire, especially given the fact that most enemies at this rank sport high-calibre cannons. Since the plane's wings are so small, any damage to them at all drastically reduces stability and manoeuvrability, and may result in a crash. All of the vehicle's fuel tanks are centrally located, so fuel fires are unlikely to occur. However, the engine is very large, so it is very likely that it will sustain heavy damage if the vehicle is fired upon.


Offensive armament

Main article: M61 (20 mm)

The F-104A (China) is armed with:

  • 1 x 20 mm M61 cannon, -mounted (750 rpg)

Suspended armament

Main article: AIM-9B Sidewinder

The F-104A (China) can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • Without load
  • 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles

Usage in battles

Describe the tactics of playing in the aircraft, the features of using aircraft in a team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view, but instead, give the reader food for thought. Examine the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).

The F-104A does one thing extremely well: speed. This is the vehicle's greatest advantage, and can be used to great effect if the pilot is careful about choosing which engagements to pursue. It is recommended to keep up a high air-speed at all times, which will allow the F-104A to swoop in and out of the combat zone while evading enemies. Sometimes, it is even possible to outrun enemy air-to-air missiles. At this battle rating, the F-104A is able to greatly outspeed the vast majority of its opponents.

However, the F-104 struggles with manoeuvrability. With such small wings, it simply can't produce the lift necessary to throw itself around the sky, and therefore has a very poor turning circle. This means that any turning engagement is most likely futile, and also reemphasizes the utility of a boom and zoom playstyle.

This vehicle also lacks in the weaponry department. Although it has an M61 (20 mm) Vulcan cannon, the only air-to-air missiles to which the plane has access is the AIM-9B. At this high battle rating, these early missiles are simply not enough to reliably destroy enemy targets, and the best way to use them is to target only slow-moving enemies. What's more, this vehicle is only equipped with two of them.


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Offensive 20mm
II Compressor Airframe AIM-9B
III Wings repair Engine New 20mm cannons
IV G-suit Cover

The pilot should focus first on researching the Fuselage repair and the AIM-9B modifications. After that, it is recommended to research the remaining Flight performance modules before moving on to the Survivability modules.

Pros and cons

Summarise and briefly evaluate the vehicle in terms of its characteristics and combat effectiveness. Mark its pros and cons in the bulleted list. Try not to use more than 6 points for each of the characteristics. Avoid using categorical definitions such as "bad", "good" and the like - use substitutions with softer forms such as "inadequate" and "effective".


  • Much faster than most enemies
  • Great climb-rate
  • Above-average manoeuvring energy retention


  • Inadequate air-to-air missiles
  • Very poor manoeuvrability
  • Unable to equip bombs or rockets


Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the aircraft in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
  • other literature.

Lockheed Corporation
Fighters  XP-38G · P-38E · P-38G-1 · P-38J-15 · Bong's P-38J-15 · P-38K · P-38L-5-LO · YP-38
Bombers  B-34 · PV-2D
Jet Fighters  F-80A-5 · F-80C-10
  F-104A · F-104C
Export / License  A-29 · ▄Hudson Mk V
  ␗F-104A · ▀F-104G · ␗F-104G · ▅F-104J · ▄F-104S
See Also  Mitsubishi Heavy Industries · Fiat Aviation

China jet aircraft
Fighters  J-2 · J-4 · Shenyang F-5 · Q-5 early · J-6A · J-7II
Bombers  H-5
American  ␗F-84G-21-RE · ␗F-86F-30 · ␗F-86F-40 · ␗F-100A · ␗F-104A · ␗F-104G
Soviet  ␗MiG-9 · ␗MiG-9 (l)