F-104A/B for Jordan

Last revised December 5, 1999

A total of 36 early-model Starfighters were promised by the US government to the Al Quwwat Aljawwiya Almalakiya Alurduniya, or Royal Jordanian Air Force in April of 1966.

In the spring of 1967, two F-104As and three F-104Bs were transferred to Jordan. The Jordanian Starfighters were quickly withdrawn to Turkey two days before the outbreak of the June 1967 Six-Day War between Israel and the Arab states of Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. Consequently, the Jordanian Starfighters sat out the conflict.

The Six-Day War resulted in a momentary interruption in the supply of Starfighters to Jordan. However, in late 1968, the RJAF resumed Starfighter training in the USA, and in mid-1969, the USA resumed the supply of Starfighters to Jordan. Eighteen refurbished F-104As and four two-seat F-104Bs were delivered. In 1969, President Nixon approved the delivery of 18 additional F-104As to Jordan from Nationalist Chinese surplus stocks following their replacement by F-104Gs.

The F-104s served with No. 9 Squadron at Prince Hassan Air Base and with No 25 Squadron at Mwaffaq Salti. No 9 Squadron was transferred to Pakistan to help out in the 1971 war with India, and is believed to have suffered several combat losses, although the number of aircraft lost is uncertain.

The F-104A/B remained in service in Jordan for nearly fifteen years, being finally replaced by Dassault Mirage F1CJs in 1982-83.


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  4. Lockheed Aircraft Since 1913, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1987.

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