Lightning F.53

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VTOL | Rank 6 USA
AV-8A Harrier Pack
This page is about the premium gift British jet fighter Lightning F.53. For the regular version, see Lightning F.6.
Lightning F.53
GarageImage Lightning F.53.jpg
StoreImage Lightning F.53 001.jpg
Lightning F.53
Show in game


RSAF Lightning F.53 (Tail #227), the same Lightning F.53 modelled in-game, as a gate guard at King Faisal Airbase.

During the late '60s, when the Lightning was no longer considered "cutting edge" and the RAF was in the process of acquiring F-4 Phantoms, the MoD greenlit the export of the Lightning to close Middle Eastern allies, namely Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The export variants were divided into two types, the Lightning F.52 being ex-RAF Lightning F.6 converted for export, and F.53 being newly built specialized ground-attack export models of the F.6, with more hardpoints for bombs or unguided rocket pods. A total of 46 were built, 12 F.53Ks for the Kuwaiti Air Force and 34 F.53s for the Royal Saudi Arabian Air Force, with one aircraft crashing during shakedown tests before delivery, resulting in a hasty replacement F.53 being rebuilt from an old F.6 airframe to meet the delivery time. Saudi Arabia received their first F.53 in 1967, and would extensively use them until 1986 when the Saudis started trying to acquire the Tornado IDS to replace it, which they successfully completed in 1989 with the first Tornado IDS deliveries in that same year.

Introduced in Update "Danger Zone" as a premium pack, Lightning F.53 is a more ground-attack oriented version of the Lightning F.6 in the tech tree, and as such, is slightly heavier, meaning the already mediocre air-to-air performance at that BR of the Lightning is now slightly worse. The F.53 shines in frontline high speed ground attack runs thanks to its insanely large amount of unguided rockets (up to 192) across underwing pods, overwing pods, and an internal rocket bay. The F.53 is indeed a unique and peculiar aircraft which does not particularly excel at many things, and acts best as a collector aircraft for people interested in the rich history of Middle Eastern military aviation.

The Lightning F.53 was removed from the Gaijin store after the 2022 "Winter sale". It was briefly made available for purchase with Golden Eagles Ge icon.png for the 2023 anniversary of its first flight.

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 12 192 m2 290 km/h
Turn time26 s
Max altitude18 288 m
Engine2 х Rolls-Royce Avon Mk.302C
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight19 t
Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 12,192 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 2,240 2,213 18288 22.8 28.0 124.6 115.4 850
Upgraded 2,353 2,290 24.4 26.0 177.8 150.0


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 + -
1361 463 N/A 654 463 ~10 ~6
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 850 < 700 < 700 N/A

Engine performance

Engine Aircraft mass
Engine name Number Basic mass Wing loading (full fuel)
Rolls-Royce Avon Mk.302 2 14,020 kg 436 kg/m2
Engine characteristics Mass with fuel (no weapons load) Max Takeoff
Weight (each) Type 6m fuel 20m fuel 22m fuel
1,310 kg Afterburning axial-flow turbojet 15,382 kg 18,109 kg 18,559 kg 19,000 kg
Maximum engine thrust @ 0 m (RB/SB) Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)
Condition 100% WEP 6m fuel 20m fuel 22m fuel MTOW
Stationary 5,616 kgf 7,413 kgf 0.96 0.82 0.80 0.78
Optimal 5,616 kgf
(0 km/h)
7,747 kgf
(1,000 km/h)
1.01 0.86 0.83 0.82

Survivability and armour

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural1 361 km/h
Gear463 km/h

The Lightning F.53 has an identical internal layout to the Lightning F.6 upon which it is based. This means that most of the area in the wings is full of fuel tanks; likewise the stacked and staggered engines are retained. While the top engine is exposed and vulnerable to enemy attacks it can often absorb bullets, protecting the lower engine from damage (assuming the enemy is attacking you from the rear and above).

Where the Lightning F.53 does differ from the Lightning F.6 is in the addition of a 64 mm bulletproof glass windscreen. This is the only armour found on either aircraft.

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB2 142 Sl icon.png
RB5 378 Sl icon.png
SB6 799 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts1 010 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 600 Ge icon.png
Research Aces2 020 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 130 / 380 / 600 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 226 / 226 / 226 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Mods jet compressor.png
Mods booster.png
New boosters
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Mods jet engine.png
Mods g suit.png
Mods armor frame.png
Mods jet engine extinguisher.png
Mods armor cover.png
Mods ammo.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
Matra SNEB
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mk.N1 540lb
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods air to air missile.png
Red Top
Mods weapon.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
Matra JL-100R
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mk.10 1000lb


Offensive armament

Main article: ADEN (30 mm)

The Lightning F.53 is armed with:

  • 2 x 30 mm ADEN cannons, belly-mounted (120 rpg = 240 total)

Suspended armament

Main articles: Firestreak, Red Top

The Lightning F.53 can be outfitted with the following ordnance presets:

  • Without load
  • 2 x Firestreak missiles
  • 2 x Red Top missiles
  • 4 x 540 lb Mk.M2 bombs (2,160 lb total)
  • 2 x 1,000 lb L.D H.E. M.C. Mk.1 bombs (2,000 lb total)
  • 144 x SNEB type 23 rockets + 48 x RN rockets
  • 144 x SNEB type 23 rockets + 2 x Firestreak missiles
  • 2 x Firestreak missiles + 4 x 540 lb Mk.M2 bombs (2,160 lb total)
  • 2 x Red Top missiles + 144 x SNEB type 23 rockets
  • 2 x Red Top missiles + 4 x 540 lb Mk.M2 bombs (2,160 lb total)

Custom loadout options

1 2 3 4 5
Hardpoints Lightning F.53.png
540 lb Mk.M2 bombs 1, 2 1, 2
1,000 lb L.D H.E. M.C. Mk.1 bombs 1 1
RN rockets 48
SNEB type 23 rockets 18, 36 36 36 18, 36
Firestreak missiles 2
Red Top missiles 2
Maximum permissible weight imbalance: 450 kg

Usage in battles

The Lightning F.53 is not unique for its battle-rating, if you've played the F-104, you may find it very similar. However, the Lightning F.53 gets load-outs for ground targets that should not be ignored. It can carry enough payload to destroy entire convoys or bases while still carrying its two anti-air missiles.

When it comes to engaging air targets, a boom-and-zoom approach is most suited, the Lightning F.53 can turn quite well when flying just under Mach, however, it is much easier for the Lightning to outrun missiles than to try out-turning them. The 2 Red Top missiles are capable but must be used with care, their range is very limited at the speeds the Lightning F.53 tends to face, at the BR's top speeds, their effective launch range is within 2.5km from the sides and 1.5km from the rear. Targets should be carefully considered as well, many aircraft at the BR have flares, one of the main distinctions that need to be made is between the F-104A and F-104C, both at the same BR, the A does not get flares while the C does. Another recurring aircraft is the A-10A, while it is an optimal target for the Lightning F.53's guns as it is slow and will have trouble manoeuvring out of the line of fire, caution must still be in order as it possesses extremely potent all-aspect missiles. The Su-25 should be handled with the same amount of caution, the Lightning F.53 generally cannot outmanoeuver those missiles.

The Lightning F.53 comes with a radar, locking on with the radar may seem pointless as it does not possess radar-guided missiles, however, the radar lock facilitates the missile lock even if it is not outright guiding them, so it is a good habit to radar-lock air targets you are be going after.

Pros and cons


  • Good climb rate and acceleration.
  • Formidable angle-of-attack above low speeds.
  • Very powerful cannons, and good missiles.
  • Surprisingly good turn rate between 800 and 1,000 km/h IAS.
  • Large rocket payload.


  • Quite poor energy retention.
  • Large target for enemy aircraft.
  • Awkward under-belly cannon placement.
  • Relatively low top speed (1,280 km/h IAS at sea level).
  • Poor low-speed manoeuvrability - accurate low-speed usage of rockets against ground targets is difficult.


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: 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).



See also

External links

The English Electric Company Limited
Jet Fighters  Lightning F.6 · Lightning F.53
Jet Bombers  Canberra B Mk 2 · Canberra B (I) Mk 6
Tanks  Excelsior
  The English Electric Company allowed the Glenn L. Martin Company to license-build Canberra bombers for the United States Air Force.

Britain jet aircraft
Blackburn  Buccaneer S.1 · Buccaneer S.2 · Buccaneer S.2B
British Aerospace  Harrier GR.7 · Sea Harrier FRS.1 (e) · Sea Harrier FRS.1
British Aircraft Corporation  Strikemaster Mk.88
English Electric  Canberra B Mk 2 · Canberra B (I) Mk 6 · Lightning F.6 · Lightning F.53
Gloster  Meteor F Mk 3 · Sea Meteor F Mk 3 · Meteor F Mk 4 G.41F · Meteor F Mk 4 G.41G · Meteor F Mk 8 G.41K · Meteor F Mk.8 Reaper
  Javelin F.(A.W.) Mk.9
de Havilland  Vampire F.B.5 · Venom FB.4 · Sea Venom FAW 20 · Sea Vixen F.A.W. Mk.2
Hawker  Sea Hawk FGA.6 · Hunter F.1 · Hunter F.6 · Hunter FGA.9 · Harrier GR.1 · Harrier GR.3
Panavia  Tornado GR.1 · Tornado F.3
SEPECAT  Jaguar GR.1 · Jaguar GR.1A · Jaguar IS
Supermarine  Attacker FB 1 · Attacker FB.2 · Scimitar F Mk.1 · Swift F.1 · Swift F.7
Foreign  Phantom FG.1 (USA) · Phantom FGR.2 (USA) · F-4J(UK) Phantom II (USA)
  JAS39C (Sweden)

Britain premium aircraft
Fighters  Tuck's Gladiator Mk II · ▄Boomerang Mk I · ▄Boomerang Mk II · ▄D.520
  ▄Martlet Mk IV · ▄Corsair F Mk II · ▄Hellcat Mk II · ▄Thunderbolt Mk.1 · ▄Mustang Mk IA
  Hurricane Mk.I/L FAA M · Spitfire Mk.IIa Venture I · Spitfire F Mk IXc · Plagis' Spitfire LF Mk IXc · Spitfire F Mk XIVc · Prendergast's Spitfire FR Mk XIVe
  Typhoon Mk Ib · MB.5
Twin-engine fighters  Hornet Mk.I · Whirlwind P.9
Jet fighters  Attacker FB.2 · Hunter FGA.9 · Lightning F.53 · Meteor F Mk.8 Reaper · Sea Vixen F.A.W. Mk.2 · F-4J(UK) Phantom II
Strike aircraft  ▄Wirraway · Beaufighter Mk I (40-mm) · Wyvern S4
  Harrier GR.1 · Strikemaster Mk.88
Bombers  ▄Avenger Mk II · ▄Boston Mk I · ▄Catalina Mk IIIa · ▄DB-7 · ▄Havoc Mk I · ▄Hudson Mk V · Swordfish Mk II