Lockheed (Fokker) F-104G Starfighter (D-8022) as used by the "Koninklijke Luchtmacht" (RNLAF)
at the Military Aviation Museum, Kamp Zeist (the Netherlands)
The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter is a single-engine, supersonic interceptor aircraft originally developed by Lockheed for the
United States Air Force (USAF). One of the Century Series of aircraft, it was operated by the air forces of more than a dozen nations from
1958 to 2004. Its design team was led by the same man who later went on to design the SR-71 Blackbird, Clarence "Kelly" Johnson.
A total of 2578 Starfighters were 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 fighter model was the F-104S, an all-weather interceptor designed by Aeritalia for the Italian Air Force, which was equipped with radar-guided AIM-7 Sparrow missiles. The international service of the F-104 began to wind down in the late 1970s, being replaced in many cases by the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, but it remained in service with some air forces for another two decades.
The last operational Starfighters served with the Italian Air Force, which retired them in October 2004.
The Royal Netherlands Air Force (Koninklijke Luchtmacht or KLu) operated 95 Fokker licensed build F-104G aircraft,
25 MAP (Military Assistance Program) licensed F-104G from the factory line in Italy (FIAT) as well as 18 TF-104G two-seat trainers. One of these two-seat trainer was well-known as the former Lockheed factory demonstrator N104L, which joined the Dutch TF fleet on 30 May 1965 and receiving serial D-5702. The Royal Netherlands Air Force received its first F-104 on the 12 December 1962. All Starfighters were replaced by the European-built F-16 Fighting Falcons from 1980 till mid 80s. A number of aircraft were sold to the Turkish Air Force and the remaining MAP aircraft were handed over to the Hellenic Air Force (or Greek Air Force). In 22 years the Klu flew 345.500 hours with the F-104 with the loss of 40 aircraft.