|This page is about the jet fighter F-104S. For other versions, see F-104 (Family).|
The F-104S Starfighter is a rank VI Italian jet fighter with a battle rating of 10.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Starfighters".
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 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)|
|< ___||< ___||< ___||N/A|
Survivability and armour
Examine the survivability of the aircraft. Note how vulnerable the structure is and how secure the pilot is, whether the fuel tanks are armoured, etc. Describe the armour, if there is any, and also mention the vulnerability of other critical aircraft systems.
The F-104S 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.
The F-104S is armed with:
- 1 x 20 mm M61 cannon, -mounted (750 rpg)
The F-104S can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 6 x 250 lb LDGP Mk 81 bombs + 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles (1,500 lb total)
- 7 x 500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs (3,500 lb total)
- 7 x 750 lb M117 cone 45 bombs (5,250 lb total)
- 3 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs (3,000 lb total)
- 1 x 2,000 lb LDGP Mk 84 bomb (2,000 lb total)
- 76 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
- 8 x Zuni Mk32 Mod 0 ATAP rockets
- 6 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles
- 6 x 250 lb LDGP Mk 81 bombs (1,500 lb total)
- 5 x 500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs + 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles (2,500 lb total)
- 5 x 750 lb M117 cone 45 bombs + 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles (3,750 lb total)
- 3 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs + 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles (3,000 lb total)
- 1 x 2,000 lb LDGP Mk 84 bomb + 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles (2,000 lb total)
- 5 x 500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs + 38 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets (2,500 lb total)
- 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles + 76 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
- 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles + 8 x Zuni Mk32 Mod 0 ATAP rockets
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-104S 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-104S to swoop in and out of the combat zone while evading enemies. Sometimes, it is even possible to outrun enemy air-to-air missiles.
However, the F-104S 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 deparment. 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. The best way to use them is to target only slow-moving enemies. There is one silver lining: since the plane is equipped with six of these missiles, the pilot has many chances to secure a kill using them. Even if the missiles underperform, their sheer number make up for that deficit.
|I||Compressor||Fuselage repair||Offensive 20 mm||Mk81||LAU-3/A|
|III||Wing repair||G-suit||New 20 mm cannons||M117||Mk83||AIM-9B|
The most important modules to research are the Flight performance modifications and the AIM-9B air-to-air missiles. The Flight performance modifications capitalize on this vehicle's speed advantage, while the missiles greatly increase its ability to do damage to the enemy. Some modifications that may be saved for last are the G-suit, Offensive 20 mm, and New 20 mm cannons, as well as the modifications that allow the plane to equip bombs (provided, of course, that the pilot does not wish to use the vehicle in a ground attack role).
Pros and cons
- Good top speed for its rank
- Great rate of climb
- Vulcan cannon can do some serious damage
- Significantly wider variety of payload options than early F-104s
- Decent high-speed manoeuvrability, in spite of its tiny wings
- Good roll rate for a jet
- Lousy manoeuverability at low speeds
- Bleeds off airspeed easily in sustained turns.
- Only 750 rounds of cannon ammo; trigger discipline is a must
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.
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.
|Italy jet aircraft|
|Fiat||G.91 pre-serie · G.91 R/1 · G.91 R/4 · G.91 YS|
|Foreign||▄F-84F · ▄F-84G-21-RE · CL-13 Mk.4 · ▄F-86K · F-104S|
|Vampire FB 52A|