From War Thunder Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
"APACHE" | AH-64A Peten
F-104J Starfighter
General characteristics
1 personCrew
24.00 tTake-off weight
13.17 kg/sBurst mass
Flight characteristics
16000 mCeiling
General Electric J79-GE-11Engine
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
14 x 70 mm Hydra-70 M247 rocketSetup 1
2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder air-to-air missilesSetup 2
2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder air-to-air missiles
14 x 70 mm Hydra-70 M247 rocket
Setup 3
2 x AIM-9E Sidewinder air-to-air missilesSetup 4
2 x AIM-9E Sidewinder air-to-air missiles
14 x 70 mm Hydra-70 M247 rocket
Setup 5
390000 Rp icon.pngResearch
1000000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png24000 / 34512/6400 / 9203/4170 / 5996Repair
290000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
1000000 Sl icon.pngExperts
2400 Ge icon.pngAces
220 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
480 % Sl icon.png240 % Sl icon.png110 % Sl icon.png
This page is about the jet fighter F-104J. For other versions, see F-104 (Family).


GarageImage F-104J.jpg

The F-104J Starfighter is a rank VI Japanese jet fighter with a battle rating of 10.0 (AB/SB) and 10.3 (RB). It was introduced in Update "Starfighters".

General info

Flight performance

The F-104J's performance can be summarised in one word: speed. For it to work effectively, you must be fast. Below 1,000 km/h, your elevator will be ineffective for any sort of combat manoeuvres. Though it may be helped by the deployment of combat or takeoff flaps as speed allows, even those will not be able to keep up with the other aircraft it faces at its battle rating. This being said, the aircraft is very responsive overall, especially in the roll aspect.

The short wings must be discussed with some nuance. Though they allow for great roll authority, their effectiveness at low speeds is severely limited. Below 6-800 km/h, you will find that level flight is difficult, if not impossible. Due to this, a very high landing speed is required, which amplifies small mistakes. Even with the perfect pilot, landing this aircraft every time is going to be a challenge.

Finally, the aircraft is only fast in a straight line. When turning, it loses significant amounts of speed, often losing any energy advantage it may have had before the turn.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 15,240 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 2,343 2,317 16000 34.5 35.1 230.5 222.5 850
Upgraded 2,431 2,387 35.5 34.0 292.0 260.0


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 ~11 ~4
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-11 1 6,552 kg 532 kg/m2
Engine characteristics Mass with fuel (no weapons load) Max Takeoff
Weight (each) Type 10m fuel 20m fuel 30m fuel 33m fuel
1,540 kg Afterburning axial-flow turbojet 7,353 kg 8,153 kg 8,954 kg 9,194 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 33m fuel MTOW
Stationary 4,128 kgf 6,357 kgf 0.86 0.78 0.71 0.69 0.26
Optimal 4,128 kgf
(0 km/h)
8,391 kgf
(1,200 km/h)
1.14 1.03 0.94 0.91 0.35

Survivability and armour

The aircraft has some survivability, although it should be noted that due to its small size, any hits to the rear of the plane are very likely to cause engine damage, which will be problematic due to the horrible gliding ability of this aircraft. The structure, however, makes it difficult to knock out the pilot from behind. Also, due to the high tail structure, it is easy to destroy the tail entirely, which will result in a near total loss of control. Though the flaps may be utilized to some extent, at lower speeds they will falter, making it very hard to take a damaged aircraft back to the runway.

When a wing is fully lost, the aircraft will suffer from extreme roll which may only be countered by use of the rudder and remaining aileron simultaneously. At this point, the aircraft is practically impossible to land and should be considered lost.

The plane also has no armour protection.


Offensive armament

Main article: M61 (20 mm)

The F-104J is armed with:

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

Suspended armament

The F-104J can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • Without load
  • 14 x Hydra-70 M247 rockets
  • 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles
  • 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles + 14 x Hydra-70 M247 rockets
  • 2 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles
  • 2 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles + 14 x Hydra-70 M247 rockets

Usage in battles

The F-104J is a difficult aircraft to fly and be competitive in without a doubt. It requires a completely unique set of tactics and manoeuvres that must be utilized without fail, or it will result in a loss. The F-104J should not be intentionally placed in a dog-fighting scenario. In the overwhelming majority of situations, you will lose the engagement due to your inferior mobility at all speeds. Though it is possible to do such things, and it is up to the judgement of the pilot on whether or not it will work out in a win, it is unlikely to happen. Particularly, there are two situations that the pilot should be aware of.

The first is the reversal. Due to the great manoeuvrability advantage of most other aircraft at your battlerating, you will often find yourself with an enemy aircraft behind you in seconds. If you have the energy advantage, do not panic. Chances are, you can successfully escape. However, if not, you should panic because the enemy will likely simply fire air-to-air missiles until your speed is sufficiently reduced to either result in a missile or gun kill.

The second is that of the failure of the classic "boom and zoom" tactic, where the pilot will engage an enemy with less altitude and speed than them, then regain their lost altitude after the attack. This will often fail in this aircraft due to the poorer energy retention in a climb and the fact that you will often be engaged by air-to-air missiles. In this situation, you should wait before the enemy is at a safe distance before resetting your altitude.

Outside of simply keeping speed up, typically above 1,000 km/h, the plane should fly in a straight line as much as possible, as manoeuvring will bleed speed like a medieval plague doctor and further hinder the aircraft's effectiveness in battle.

Overall, when used correctly, the F-104J can be a serious threat to the enemy, though it is easily countered in some situations. The 20 mm cannon is capable with 750 rounds and good impact on target, though the AAM performance is lacklustre compared to its peers, as it receives the same air-to-air loadout as its cousin, the Mitsubishi T-2. Only two missiles of the B and E Sidewinder variants may be carried, in contrast the high performance AIM-9J model that its other export brother, the F-104G possesses. However, without these missiles the aircraft would suffer tremendously.

As such, you should use your missiles only when they are guaranteed a kill, and which a gun kill may not be guaranteed, which is at medium ranges or low energy opponents with a significant altitude difference.


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Offensive 20 mm RL-7
II Compressor Airframe New 20 mm cannons
III Wings repair Engine AIM-9B
IV G-suit Cover RWR AIM-9E

Pros and cons


  • Extreme top speed
  • Responsive acceleration


  • Poor manoeuvrability at low and medium speed
  • Inadequate AAM
  • Lack of a radar gunsight


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).


F-104J in-flight over the "Bastogne" map.

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

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (三菱重工業株式会社)
Ground Vehicles 
APC  Type 60
IFV  Type 89
MCV  Type 16
MBT  ST-A1 · ST-A2 · Type 61
  ST-B1 · Type 74 · Type 74 (F) · Type 74 (G)
  Type 90 · Type 90 (B)
SPH  Type 75
SPAAG  Type 87
Air Vehicles 
Jet Fighter  F-86F-30 ▅* · F-86F-40 ▅* · F-86F-40 JASDF▅*
  T-2 · F-1
  F-4EJ Phantom II*
See also  Mitsubishi Aircraft Company (1928-1945) · North American Aviation · Lockheed · McDonnell Aircraft Corporation

Japan jet aircraft
Experimental  Kikka
Reconnaissance  R2Y2 Kai V1 · R2Y2 Kai V2 · R2Y2 Kai V3
Fighters  Ki-200
Fighters  F-86F-30 ▅ · F-86F-40 ▅ · F-86F-40 JASDF▅
  F-4EJ Phantom II
Trainers  T-2