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One-Oh-Four

Italian F-104S air defense loadout?

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Is an F-104S with Sidewinders on the wingtips, Sparrows/Aspides on the underwing launchers and underwing tanks a realistic proposition?

I know that Belgian F-104G's flew there air defense with wingtip mounted AIM-9's and underwing tanks...

I know that the Italians sometimes flew with tiptanks and 1 AIM-9 on one underwing launcher and 1 Sparrow/Aspide on the other underwing launcher... Only, I need to salvage two wing tanks (in 1/32)for my F-104C project as the F-104C used tiptanks with two short horizontal fins as opposed to one long and one short fin as used on the -G and -S.

Thanks for your insights, cheers!

Erik.

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I found one picture on Google of an F-104S with wingtip Sidewinders, underwing Sparrows, and no fuel tanks. It is a head on shot but the camo on the wings looks like it MIGHT be Italian.Just Google Italian F-104S Air Defense

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G 2 Aim-9 + gun

ASA ASAwhateverS Aspide + Aim-9 no gun

Most of the times they just flew with 4 tanks and probably a couple of Sidewinders.

80% they flew past my home during AA training they had 4 tanks a dummy and the data pod

Hard to find pics with full weapons load,have some in a book here but they are just pics with them grounded sporting dummy rounds and even if they flew with 2 Aim-9 on tips 2 Aspide on wings they had to carry the fuel tanks next to them anyway

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I am sorry to not have a source on hand to quote, but the picture shown by Jari illustrates (I seem to remember) an Open Day static display meant to play a trick on 'eastern observers', getting them to think the Starfighter might be more dangerous than it really [and anyway] was.

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The most common real load I've seen is tip tanks, one Aspide under one wing and one AIM-9 under the other wing. Two AIM-9s and two Aspides and no fuel tanks made for a short range. The AIM-9 rails under the intake were not used operationally and were mostly used for show.

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I'm leaving this here just for the sake of loadout configurations

Keep in mind that there were some sub-variants who externally were just the same but could not load/use the Aspide/Sparrow because it had a ground attack radar and those variants for what I've read from the book were used by the 37th group.

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Let's make some order here.

F-104S were build in two variants: the CIO with missiles and no gun and the CBO with gun and no missiles but bombs only.

The S could carry only two kind of Missiles: AIM-7F Sparrow (only on BL105 external pylons) and AIM-9B, only in the last year of service, that was 1989 a few were given AIM-9L instead.

Standard configuration was 1 Sparrow and 1 Sidewinder and that was used for QRA service.

To intercept strategic bombers or MiG-25 configuration was 2 Sparrows at BL105 and 2 Fuel tanks at wing tips

War configuration was with 4 missiles: 2 Sidewinder at wingtips, 2 Sparrows at BL104 and 2 fuel tanks at BL75. Underbelly pylons BL22 were never cleared for use even if each Squadron got those pylons and use to play with them during airshows. There are a few photos of BL22 in flight but with no missiles attached to them.

By 1989 all S has been retired from service and converted into S-ASA.

The ASA replaced the Bravo with the Lima and the Sparrow with the Aspide.

During mid '90s the Italian Air force was short of wing tips fuel tanks so the use of fuel tanks at BL75 and Sidewinders at wingtips become more common. Mind that to use AIM-9L at wingtips the F-104 needed two kinds of launchers: Red Dog attached to wing and LAU-7 attached to Red Dog.

But the 104 was tricky to fly without wing tip tanks, so, after a few crashes, more tanks were produced and the use of wing tip missiles forbidden by the end of the Nineties.

36-0 showed here above was the only one known to be loaded with 6 missiles and it never flew that way, it was out of service during the airshow so it was used to scare Ivan, later it come back to service as 36-03 without the BL22 pylons.

NODA and (later) 18°Gruppo were an exception: this new unit was reformed due to the crisis with Libya and equipped with F-104S (later ASA) bombers that become free with the introduction of the Tornado. So these few F-104 kept the gun and could not carry Sparrow or Aspide. These were often see flying with 4 AIM-9L: 2 at wing tips and 2 at BL105.

I just wrote a book to clarify all these matters and hope it will go to printers this year. :woot.gif:/>

Edited by Paolo Maglio

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I just wrote a book to clarify all these matters and hope it will go to printers this year. :woot.gif:/>/>

*woot* indeed! You can never have too much Spillone books.

English text..?

Cheers,

Andre

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So Paolo;

A valid configuration for late-grey F-104S-ASA would be either

- 2xAspid or

- 1xAIM-9L and 1xAspid

with wingtip tanks?

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Hi all,

@ Niels: yes, those configurations are both good but wingtip mounted AIM-9l were also used by gray ASA for a few years.

@ Andre, yes, the book will be in English language only with around 150 photos, still not sre if we will be able to add profiles or not.

I forgot to mention the ASA-M variant.

Only 49 single seaters were upgraded to this latest variant and all were pure interceptors without the gun.

The could carry both Aspide and Lima but the Aspide was retired from service by early 2000 since it was found to actually have almost the same range as the Lima due to the fact that the radar had a too short range for the missile!

So in the last 4 years of service a couple of AIM-9L was the only armament available for the Italian Starfighters almost the same (2 x AIM-9B) as was used by F-104G AWX in the mid Sixties!

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Hi all,

@ Niels: yes, those configurations are both good but wingtip mounted AIM-9L were also used by gray ASA for a few years.

@ Andre, yes, the book will be in English language only with around 150 photos, still not sre if we will be able to add profiles or not.

I forgot to mention the ASA-M variant.

Only 49 single seaters were upgraded to this latest variant and all were pure interceptors without the gun.

The could carry both Aspide and Lima but the Aspide was retired from service by early 2000 since it was found to actually have almost the same range as the Lima due to the fact that the radar had a too short range for the missile!

So in the last 4 years of service a couple of AIM-9L was the only armament available for the Italian Starfighters almost the same (2 x AIM-9B) as was used by F-104G AWX in the mid Sixties!

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