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F-104J Starfighter ,206 Sq., Japan Air Self Defense Force "683"
General Background
The F-104 Starfighter was a revolutionary design with short razor-sharp wings. It was the first aircraft to be able to maintain Mach 2 not just in short bursts. The Starfighter shattered speed and rate of climb records that still are impressive today. This extremely high speed earned the plane the nickname "The Missile With A Man In It". Because of financial considerations 15 or more countries purchased the F-104. The Starfighter flew with the USAF in 1958 and the last airplane was decommissioned in Italy in 2004.
The Aircraft
July 1, 1954 the JASDF (Japan Air Self Defense Force) was created. In a 1960's modernization program Japan selected the Lockheed F-104 to replace their present F-86's. Over the length of the program they accepted 210 aircraft enough to equip 7 Hikotai (squadrons). After WWII Japan's military was restricted to a defensive force so the F-104J had limited weaponry and electronics. Not well liked by many other Air Forces the Starfighter was given names such as "Widow-Maker". However JASDF pilots liked this machine and dubbed it "Eikou" (Glory).

The first Japanese F-104J's had a natural-metal finish with white painted wings as a background for the red "Rising Sun" national insignia. The aircraft were armed with a 20-mm cannon, 1 AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile under each wing and 2 more carried on a fuselage centerline rack. One group to be equipped with the F-104J was the 206th Hikotai (squadron) of the 7th Kokudan (Air Wing) based at Hyakuri Air Base. Between 1965 and 1986 34 aircraft were lost to accidents. Starting in 1981 and completed in 1987 the F-15 replace the Starfighters.
Specifications :
Engine: 1 x 15,600-lb thrust GE J79-GE-11A afterburning turbojet.
Weight: Empty 13,900 lbs., Max Takeoff 29,303 lbs.
Wing Span: 21ft 9in.
Length: 54ft 8in.
Height: 13ft. 5in.
Performance: Maximum speed at 50, 000 ft. – 1,145 mph (Mach 2.2).
Service ceiling: 50,000ft.
Rate of climb: 48,000 ft./min.
Range: 1,080 miles.
Armament: 1 x 20mm six-barrel cannon only on the later versions, early versions were without it replaced by a fuel tank.
  Two wingtip mounted Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.
  Two rack mounted air-to-air Sidewinder missiles on the forward center-line of the belly.
  Provisions for wingtip mounted fuel tanks and optional fuel drop tanks under the wings.