This aircraft bears the markings of No. 336Squadron, Royal Hellenic Air Force (Greece). They painted this F 104 G with a special colour scheme as a farewell to the F 104.
The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter is a single-engine, high-performance, supersonic interceptor aircraft originally developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) by Lockheed. One of the Century Series of aircraft, it was operated by the air forces of more than a dozen nations from 1958 to 2004.
The F-104 served with the USAF from 1958 until 1969, and continued with Air National Guard units until 1975. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) flew a small mixed fleet of F-104 types in supersonic flight tests and spaceflight programs until 1994. USAF F-104Cs saw service during the Vietnam War, and F-104A aircraft were deployed by Pakistan briefly during the Indo-Pakistani wars. Republic of China Air Force (Taiwan) F-104s also engaged the People's Liberation Army Air Force (China) over the disputed island of Quemoy. The operational service of the Starfighter ended with its retirement by the Italian Air Force in May 2004.
A total of 2,578 Starfighters were eventually produced, mostly by NATO members. A set of modifications produced the F-104G model, which won a NATO competition for a new fighter-bomber. Several two-seat trainer versions were also produced, the most numerous being the TF-104G. The ultimate production version of the basic fighter model F-104 was the F-104S all-weather interceptor designed by Aeritalia for the Italian Air Force and equipped with radar-guided AIM-7 Sparrow missiles. An advanced F-104 with a high-mounted wing, known as the CL-1200 Lancer, did not proceed past the mock-up stage.
The poor safety record of the Starfighter brought the aircraft into the public eye, especially in German Air Force service. The subsequent Lockheed bribery scandals surrounding the original purchase contracts caused considerable political controversy in Europe and Japan.
- 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 Messerschmitt/MBB, Dornier, 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.