Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

A total of 2,578 F-104s were produced by Lockheed and under license by various foreign manufacturers. Principal variants included:

XF-104 - Two prototype aircraft equipped with Wright J65 engines (the J79 was not yet ready); one aircraft equipped with the M61 cannon as an armament test bed. Both aircraft were destroyed in crashes.

Lockheed XF-104 (S/N 53-7786) in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)

YF-104A - 17 pre-production aircraft used for engine, equipment, and flight testing. Most were later converted to F-104A standard.

Lockheed YF-104 (S/N 55-2961), to NASA in 1956 as NASA 818. (U.S. Air Force photo)

F-104A - A total of 153 initial production versions were built. In USAF service from 1958 through 1960, then transferred to ANG until 1963 when they were recalled by the USAF Air Defense Command for the 319th and 331st Fighter Interceptor Squadrons. Some were released for export to Jordan, Pakistan, and Taiwan, each of whom used it in combat. In 1967 the 319th F-104As and Bs were re-engined with the J79-GE-19 engines with 17,900 lb (79.6 kN) of thrust in afterburner; service ceiling with this engine was in excess of 73,000 ft (22,250 m). In 1969 all the F-104A/Bs in ADC service were retired. On 18 May 1958, an F-104A set a world speed record of 1,404.19 mph (2,259.82 km/h).

F-104A-1-LO Starfighter (S/N 56-0734) (U.S. Air Force photo)

NF-104A - Three demilitarized versions with an additional 6,000 lbf (27 kN) Rocketdyne LR121/AR-2-NA-1 rocket engine, used for astronaut training at altitudes up to 120,800 ft (36,830 m). An accident on 10 December 1963 involving Chuck Yeager was depicted in the motion picture The Right Stuff, although the aircraft in the film was not an actual NF-104A.

F-104A-10-LO Starfighter (S/N 56-0756) converted to NF-104A in 1963.
(U.S. Air Force photo)

QF-104A - A total of 22 F-104As converted into radio-controlled drones and test aircraft.

F-104B - Tandem two-seat dual-control trainer version of F-104A, 26-built. Enlarged rudder and ventral fin, no cannon and reduced internal fuel, but otherwise combat-capable. A few were supplied to Jordan , Pakistan and Taiwan. 26-built.

F-104C - Fighter bomber versions for USAF Tactical Air Command, with improved fire-control radar (AN/ASG-14T-2), centerline and two wing pylons (for a total of five), and ability to carry one Mk 28 or Mk 43 nuclear weapon on the centerline pylon. The F-104C also had in-flight refuelling capability. On 14 December 1959, an F-104C set a world altitude record of 103,395 ft (31.5 km). 77 built.

F-104C-5-LO Starfighter (S/N 56-0914). (U.S. Air Force photo)

F-104D - Dual-control trainer versions of F-104C, 21 built.

F-104DJ - Dual-control trainer version of F-104J for Japanese Air Self-Defense Force, 20 built by Lockheed and assembled by Mitsubishi.

F-104F - Dual-control trainers based on F-104D, but using the upgraded engine of the F-104G. No radar, and not combat-capable. Produced as interim trainers for the Luftwaffe. All F-104F aircraft were retired by 1971. 30-built.

F-104G - 1,122 aircraft of the main version produced as multi-role fighter bombers. Manufactured by Lockheed, and under license by Canadair and a consortium of European companies which included MBB, Messerschmitt, Fiat, Fokker and SABCA. The type featured strengthened fuselage and wing structure, increased internal fuel capacity, an enlarged vertical fin, strengthened landing gear with larger tires and revised flaps for improved combat maneuvering. Upgraded avionics included a new Autonetics NASARR F15A-41B radar with air-to-air and ground mapping modes, the Litton LN-3 inertial navigation system (the first on a production fighter) and an infrared sight.

Luftwaffe F-104G Starfighter. (Mikaël Restoux photo)

RF-104G - 189 tactical reconnaissance models based on F-104G, usually with three KS-67A cameras mounted in the forward fuselage in place of cannon.

TF-104G - 220 combat-capable trainer version of F-104G; no cannon or centerline pylon, reduced internal fuel. One aircraft used by Lockheed as a demonstrator with the civil registration number L104L, was flown by Jackie Cochran to set three women’s world speed records in 1964. This aircraft later served in the Netherlands.

F-104H - Projected export version based on a F-104G with simplified equipment and optical gunsight. Not built.

F-104J - Specialised interceptor version of the F-104G for the Japanese ASDF, built under license by Mitsubishi for the air-superiority fighter role, armed with cannon and four Sidewinders; no strike capability. Some were converted to UF-104J radio-controlled target drones and destroyed. Total of 210 built, 3 built by Lockheed, 29 built by Mitsubushi for Lockheed built components and 177 built by Mitsubishi.

F-104N - Three F-104Gs were delivered to NASA in 1963 for use as high-speed chase aircraft. One, piloted by Joe Walker, collided with an XB-70 on 8 June 1966.

F-104S - 246 Italian versions produced by FIAT, one aircraft crashed prior to delivery and is often not included in the total number built. The F-104S was upgraded for the interception role having NASARR R-21G/H radar with moving-target indicator and continuous-wave illuminator for SARH missiles (initially AIM-7 Sparrow), two additional wing and two underbelly hardpoints (increasing the total to nine), more powerful J79-GE-19 engine with 11,870 lbf (53 kN) and 17,900 lbf (80 kN) thrust, and two additional ventral fins for increased stability. The M61 cannon was sacrificed to make room for the missile avionics in the interceptor version but retained for the fighter-bomber variants. Up to two Sparrow; and two, theoretically four or six Sidewinder missiles were carried on all the hardpoints except the central (underbelly), or seven 340 kg bombs (normally two–four 227–340 kg). The F-104S was cleared for a higher maximum takeoff weight, allowing it to carry up to 7,500 lb (3,400 kg) of stores; other Starfighters had a maximum external load of 4,000 lb (1,814 kg). Range was up to 1,250 km with four tanks.

Italian Air Force F-104S Starfighter. (Italian Air Force photo)

F-104S-ASA - (Aggiornamento Sistemi d'Arma – "Weapon Systems Update") – 147 upgraded F-104S with Fiat R21G/M1 radar with frequency hopping, look-down/shoot-down capability, new IFF system and weapon delivery computer, provision for AIM-9L all-aspect Sidewinder and Selenia Aspide missiles.

F-104S-ASA/M - (Aggiornamento Sistemi d'Arma/Modificato – "Weapon Systems Update/Modified") – 49 airframes upgraded in 1998 to ASA/M standard with GPS, new TACAN and Litton LN-30A2 INS, refurbished airframe, improved cockpit displays. All strike-related equipment was removed. The last Starfighters in combat service, they were withdrawn in December 2004 and temporarily replaced by the F-16 Fighting Falcon, while awaiting Eurofighter Typhoon deliveries.

CF-104 - 200 Canadian-built versions, built under license by Canadair and optimized for nuclear strike, having NASARR R-24A radar with air-to-air modes, cannon deleted (restored after 1972), additional internal fuel cell, and Canadian J79-OEL-7 engines with 10,000 lbf (44 kN) /15,800 lbf (70 kN) thrust.

Canadian Armed Forces CF-104 Starfighter. (Photo: Unknown)

CF-104D - 38 dual-control trainer versions of CF-104, built by Lockheed, but with Canadian J79-OEL-7 engines. Some later transferred to Denmark, Norway and Turkey.

Wikipedia: F-104 Starfighter