F-104S TAF (Italy)

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This page is about the premium jet fighter F-104S TAF (Italy). For other versions, see F-104 (Family).
▄F-104S TAF
GarageImage F-104S TAF (Italy).jpg
StoreImage F-104S TAF (Italy) 002.jpg
▄F-104S TAF
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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.

General info

Flight performance

Arrestor gear
Accelerates braking by grabbing the brake cable on the deck of the aircraft carrier
Air brakes
Allows you to dramatically reduce the flight speed by releasing special flaps
Drogue parachute
Reduces braking distance when landing on any runway
Max speed
at 15 240 m2 387 km/h
Turn time34 s
Max altitude16 000 m
EngineGeneral Electric J79-GE-19
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight24 t

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
Stock 2,344 2,316 16000 34.5 34.7 225.5 216.5 850
Upgraded 2,431 2,387 33.5 34.0 297.4 260.0


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 + -
1,527 546 N/A 827 444 ~12 ~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-19 1 6,850 kg 565 kg/m2
Engine characteristics Mass with fuel (no weapons load) Max Gross
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
Maximum engine thrust @ 0 m (RB/SB) 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
(1,200 km/h)
1.33 1.18 1.07 1.05 0.78

Survivability and armour

Aircraft countermeasures to distract IR and radar-guided missiles and also AA radar
Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural0 km/h
Gear546 km/h

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

Repair cost
AB1 960 Sl icon.png
RB5 812 Sl icon.png
SB6 208 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts1 160 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 800 Ge icon.png
Research Aces2 150 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 110 / 300 / 600 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 232 / 232 / 232 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods jet compressor.png
Mods booster.png
New boosters
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Mods jet engine.png
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Mods armor frame.png
Mods g suit.png
Mods armor cover.png
Mods ammo.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods heli false thermal targets.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods napalm fire bomb.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon block rocket large.png
Mods pilon block rocket large.png
Mods air to air midrange missile.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods air to air missile.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mod arrow right 0.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mods air to air missile.png


Ballistic Computer
CCIP (Guns) CCIP (Rockets) CCIP (Bombs) CCRP (Bombs)
alt={{{alt}}} alt={{{alt}}} alt={{{alt}}} alt={{{alt}}}

Offensive armament

The F-104S TAF (Italy) is armed with:

  • A choice between two presets:
    • Without offensive armament
    • 60 x countermeasures

Suspended armament

The F-104S TAF (Italy) can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Hardpoints F-104S.ASA.png
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
  • Without load
  • 1 x 20 mm M61A1 cannon (750 rpg) + 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles
  • 1 x 20 mm M61A1 cannon + 2 x AIM-9P Sidewinder missiles
  • 1 x 20 mm M61A1 cannon + 6 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles
  • 1 x 20 mm M61A1 cannon + 6 x AIM-9P Sidewinder missiles
  • 2 x AIM-7E Sparrow missiles
  • 1 x 20 mm M61A1 cannon + 76 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
  • 1 x 20 mm M61A1 cannon + 8 x Zuni Mk32 Mod 0 ATAP rockets
  • 1 x 20 mm M61A1 cannon + 6 x 250 lb LDGP Mk 81 bombs (1,500 lb total)
  • 1 x 20 mm M61A1 cannon + 7 x 500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs (3,500 lb total)
  • 1 x 20 mm M61A1 cannon + 7 x 500 lb Mk 82 Snakeye bombs (3,500 lb total)
  • 1 x 20 mm M61A1 cannon + 7 x 750 lb M117 cone 45 bombs (5,250 lb total)
  • 1 x 20 mm M61A1 cannon + 3 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs (3,000 lb total)
  • 1 x 20 mm M61A1 cannon + 1 x 2,000 lb LDGP Mk 84 bomb (2,000 lb total)
  • 1 x 20 mm M61A1 cannon + 7 x BLU-1 incendiary bombs

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.[1][2]

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.[3]



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


  1. Baugher, Joe. Starfighters with Turkey, December 12, 1999. http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_fighters/f104_24.html.
  2. F-104 Starfighter with the THK. http://www.karo-aviation.nl/favorite/pages/f104/f104thk.htm.
  3. 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
Aerfer  Sagittario 2 · Ariete
Fiat  G.91 pre-serie · G.91 R/1 · G.91 R/4 (Portugal) · G.91 Y · G.91 YS
AMX International  AMX
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 (Turkey) · F-104S.ASA
F-16  ▄F-16A ADF
AV-8  ▄AV-8B Plus
Mikoyan-Gurevich  ◔MiG-15bis · ◔MiG-17PF · ◔MiG-21MF · ◔MiG-21bis-SAU · ◔MiG-23MF · ◔MiG-29
Ilyushin  ◔IL-28
Sukhoi  ◔Su-22M3
Saab  ◔JAS39EBS HU C

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