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F-104G Starfighter

The F-104G had a stronger structure (through extensive internal redesign) for performing many roles in any weather. It also had four Sidewinders for interceptor duty, carried air to surface missiles, rockets, and gravity bombs for attack, and featured the J-79-GE-11A engine - with the -7's thrust, but more reliable - and F-15AM-11 fire-control system.

US agreements with West Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Italy authorized these countries to produce F-104s. The United States subsequently signed similar agreements with Canada and Japan. In keeping with political restraints on offensive operations, Japanese production was limited to an interceptor version of the F-104.

The order was placed by the United States with the Lockheed California plant (with MAP funds) for TAC training of allied pilots.

F 104G components, paid for by MAP, would also be manufactured in the United States to support allied F-104 production. Moreover, MAP funded F-104Gs would be fabricated by Canadair (a Lockheed subsidiary in Ontario, Canada) and handed out to Denmark, Norway, Greece, and Turkey.

The Air Force accepted the first American made MAP F-104G earmarked for TAC. The Air Force then accepted the first Canadair built F-104G in September 1963.

The F-104D entered operational service in October, 1962 with a TAC combat crew training unit at George AFB. MAP F-104 training began at George and Luke AFB, Arizona. It was later consolidated at Luke, where West German pilots had been the first students.

Other configurations: RF-104G - A MAP, California produced, F-104G was equipped with three KS-67A cameras to demonstrate its reconnaissance potential. The Air Force accepted 24 RF-104Gs between March and September, 1963 (14 in FY 63 and 10 in FY 64), but quickly returned 5 to their basic F-104G configuration; TF 104G - A two cockpit F-104G built in California for MAP and Military Assistance Sales (MAS). The Air Force accepted 29 MAP TF-104Gs, 28 for TAC allied training (the first in September 1962, the last in December 1964) and 1 for Spain in October 1965. The Air Force also accepted 87 MAS TF-104Gs between October 1962 and February 1965 (40 in FY 63, 35 in FY 64, and 12 in FY 65). West Germany bought 72; Italy, 12; and Belgium, 3; F-104J - Produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, under license from Lockheed. Japan also manufactured a two cockpit F-104J interceptor - the TF-104J trainer; CF 104 - Produced by Canadair for air support of Canadian ground troops. For better ground attack performance, it sacrificed versatility, an F-104G strong point. A two crew CF-104D accompanied the Canadian CF 104.

The F-104G had a Flyaway Cost Per Production Aircraft of $1.42 million-airframe (including electronics, ordnance, and armament), $1,251,000; engine (installed), $169,000.

More than 1,400 F-104Gs of one configuration or another were produced during the 1960's by Europe, Japan, Canada, or the United States. This bore out Lockheed's financial foresight in retaining all F-104 patent rights.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:30:05 ZULU