F-104S TAF (Italy)
|This page is about the premium jet fighter F-104S TAF (Italy). For other versions, see F-104 (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
During the Cuban Missile Crisis era, the Turkish Air Force bought the F-104S from Italy to increase the combat capabilities of their air force already equipped with 2 squadrons of F-4E. Turkey bought 40 new F-104S interceptors from FIAT in 1974-1975.
Introduced in Update "Apex Predators", the F-104S (TAF) is rather complicated to use because of its lack of manoeuvrability. The aircraft can be used both as a CAS and an air superiority platform due to its excellent acceleration and climb rate, as well as a ballistic computer to aid in use of ordnance. You can rely on both the AIM-9P and AIM-7E SARH air-to-air missiles to shoot down enemy planes and helicopters during battles, or use a payload of bombs or rockets to act as CAS for your allies in Ground Battles, while the available flare/chaff can be used to ward off enemy threats. In comparison to the tech tree F-104S, the TAF carries the 20 mm minigun under the fuselage instead of in the nose.
The vehicle itself is totally identical to its tech-tree counterpart but with Turkish markings. One of the most distinctive features of the F-104 series is the pencil-like airframe with extremely thin and small control surfaces: the F-104S is no exception. It also carries an engine with very similar thrust to the J79-GE-17 of the F-4 Phantom, making it even faster than previous models. However, this increase in thrust doesn't change the drawback of the F-104 series - its manoeuvrability. Due to the design calling for the highest possible climb rate to counter Soviet bombers and earlier jets of its era (e.g. MiG-19), it has some of the thinnest wings of any jet aircraft. Although it has a pair of flaps able to be extended even at 900 km/h for extra manoeuvrability, in most cases, if the target is not something as huge as a B-29 Superfortress, chances are that players may get drawn into energy fights with enemies which could be extra challenging to handle due to the infamous lack of manoeuvrability. Be sure not to be baited into a dogfight, and finish an engagement as fast as possible as more speed means more odds to survive the battle.
|Characteristics|| Max speed
(km/h at 15,240 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|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|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 720||< 950||< 800||N/A|
|Engine name||Number||Wing loading (full fuel)|
|General Electric J79-GE-19||1||6,850 kg||565 kg/m2|
|Engine characteristics||Mass with fuel (no weapons load)|
|Weight (each)||Type||9m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||32m fuel|
|1,740 kg||Afterburning axial-flow turbojet||7,722 kg||8,645 kg||9,543 kg||9,758 kg||13,110 kg|
|Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)|
|Condition||100%||WEP||9m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||32m fuel||MGW|
|Stationary||4,992 kgf||7,688 kgf||1.00||0.89||0.80||0.79||0.59|
|Optimal|| 5,044 kgf
(1,200 - 1,400 km/h)
| 10,253 kgf
Survivability and armour
Like its tech tree counterpart, the TAF F-104S also has no additional protection against oncoming shots. What makes the situation even more dire is that it also doesn't equip an EFS onboard: in case of an engine fire, players will have to pray that it burns out naturally before structural failure. In most cases, with the engine damaged by different means or other damage onboard, the F-104S will have an extremely hard time returning for a repair.
Modifications and economy
|CCIP (Guns)||CCIP (Rockets)||CCIP (Bombs)||CCRP (Bombs)|
The F-104S TAF (Italy) is armed with:
- A choice between two presets:
- Without offensive armament
- 60 x countermeasures
The F-104S TAF (Italy) can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
|20 mm M61A1 cannons (750 rpg)||1*|
|250 lb LDGP Mk 81 bombs||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs||1||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|500 lb Mk 82 Snakeye bombs||1||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|750 lb M117 cone 45 bombs||1||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs||1||1||1|
|2,000 lb LDGP Mk 84 bombs||1|
|BLU-1 incendiary bombs||1||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets||19||19||19||19|
|Zuni Mk32 Mod 0 ATAP rockets||4||4|
|AIM-7E Sparrow missiles||1*||1*|
|AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|AIM-9P Sidewinder missiles||1||1||1||1||1||1|
| Maximum permissible loadout weight: 3,400 kg|
Maximum permissible weight imbalance: 500 kg
|* AIM-7E Sparrow missiles cannot be equipped in conjunction with the 20 mm M61A1 cannon.|
|Default weapon presets|
Usage in battles
Being a member of the Starfighter family, the F-104S excels excellently at its main feature - speed and climb rate. As one of the earliest jets to hit Mach 2.0 at high altitude, the design doctrine called for the maximum climb rate and speed possible, resulting in the pencil-like airframe. Players will soon find it very different from other jets of its tier: while those jets would still have the chance to succeed in a dogfight to a certain extent, this is not the case for F-104S. The jet itself does have varieties of air-to-air weaponries, such as later series of rear-aspect Sidewinders and even Sparrows at its disposal, the jet itself does also come with an M61 cannon on the port side of the airframe. At first glance this might sound pleasing as there are 6 missiles in total for the jet, but when players decided to equip AIM-7Es, they will find that the only cannon onboard is removed to fit the Sparrow guidance equipment.
The other thing that hinders F-104S is the radar itself. It does have 30 km search range but the scan rate is slow compared to jets at its tier; the overall performance of this radar also hindered as the Sparrow has difficulty handling targets below it - a major drawback for an interceptor. For most air-to-air combats, bringing 6 AIM-9s is more than enough to handle the heated battlefield when delivering strikes upon unaware enemies; if players want to take a bet on head-on fights against targets from below, the pair of Sparrows will make short work of enemies assuming the missiles do track on the target, but make sure every missile counts as these will be the only weapons onboard. However, the high velocity and rate of fire of the M61 cannon is also often enough to deal with head-on situations.
The F-104S should be used for high-altitude interception or going fast at lower altitudes, being fast helps its survivability; going fast and flying in mostly straight lines around the battlefield, picking off targets that have used up their energy or don't have any flares for the maximum efficiency. Only engage in a dogfight in dire situations or one-on-one battles; use the flaps accordingly as this can compensate for the poor manoeuvrability at speeds below 900 km/h.
While Starfighters are infamous at ground-attacking due to its lack of manoeuvrability at low altitude, the F-104S is able to carry up to 1.36 tons of LDGP bombs or napalm. Players will have to be extremely cautious about their position, diving onto targets or being too fast in this case is not a good idea for F-104S. The ballistic computer will make sure the bombs land on desired targets precisely.
Pros and cons
- Rather high acceleration and climb rate than previous models
- Varieties of air-to-air/ground weaponry with sufficient overall payload
- Sufficient counter-measures for oncoming missiles
- Relative high ammo pool for its M61 cannon
- High roll-rate at high speed
- Installation of AIM-7 missiles trades the internal M61 cannon
- Huge turning radius
- Way high stall speed than conventional jets
- Somewhat inferior radar at its tier with a slow scan rate
During the heat of the Cold War when the Cuban Missile Crisis almost brought an end to the world, Turkey, a site of US missile bases overseas, would become the frontline and in dire need for new jets. Later in May 1963, TAF received their first 54 F-104G series from the Military Aid Program (MAP; 48 104Gs and 6 TF-104Gs); this also included hundreds of other F-104G series from other NATO countries where they would be eventually replaced by their selected new jets by the 1980s. Aside from Lockheed and Canadair F-104s, Turkey also became the only export customer of the F-104S series at a total of 40 of them delivered in late 1974 to May 1975.
Their only combat operation was the Invasion of Cyprus where they could have encountered Starfighters from their neighbour across the Aegean Sea, Greece, but both air forces didn't meet each other and the F-104 series were kept in service until TAI's license-assembled F-16Cs arrived and eventually replaced them in the mid-1990s.
This jet, numbered MM6900/75-6900 of the Project Bora-II delivery was then stored as part of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) and later scrapped in June 1995.
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.
- Baugher, Joe. Starfighters with Turkey, December 12, 1999. http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_fighters/f104_24.html.
- F-104 Starfighter with the THK. http://www.karo-aviation.nl/favorite/pages/f104/f104thk.htm.
- Peitzmeier, Hubert. "F-104S Turkish Air Force Serials," May 21, 2022. http://www.916-starfighter.de/F-104_THK_S.pdf.
|Fiat Aviation (Fiat Aviazione)|
|Fighters||CR.32 · CR.32 bis · CR.32 quater|
|CR.42 · Marcolin's C.R.42 CN · ▀Marcolin's C.R.42 CN|
|G.50 serie 2 · G.50 AS serie 7|
|G.55 sottoserie 0 · G.55 serie 1 · G.55S|
|Jet fighters||G.91 pre-serie · G.91 R/1 · G.91 Y · G.91 YS|
|▄F-104G* · F-104S* · F-104S.ASA* · ▄F-104S TAF*|
|Strike aircraft||F.C.20 Bis|
|Bombers||B.R.20DR · B.R.20M M1|
|Export/Captured||J11 · ▀CR.42|
|▀G.50 serie 2 · ▀G.50 AS serie 7|
|◄G.91 R/3 · ◄G.91 R/4 · G.91 R/4|
|See also||North American Aviation · Lockheed Martin|
|Italy jet aircraft|
|Aefer||Sagittario 2 · Ariete|
|Fiat||G.91 pre-serie · G.91 R/1 · G.91 R/4 · G.91 Y · G.91 YS|
|Panavia||Tornado ADV · ▄Tornado IDS (1995)|
|Vampire||Vampire FB 52A|
|F-84||▄F-84F · ▄F-84G-21-RE|
|F-86||CL-13 Mk.4 · ▄F-86K|
|F-104||▄F-104G · F-104S · ▄F-104S TAF · F-104S.ASA|
|Italy premium aircraft|
|Fighters||CR.32 bis · Marcolin's C.R.42 CN · He 112 B-1/U2 · Re.2001 gruppo 22|
|C. 202D · IAR-81C · ▄Spitfire Mk Vb/trop · ◐Bf 109 F-4 · ◐Bf 109 G-2 · G.55S|
|Jet fighters||Ariete · G.91 R/4 · ▄F-104S TAF|
|Strike aircraft||◐Bf 110 G-4 · Hs 129 B-2 (Romania) · Ro.57 Quadriarma|