F-84G Thunderjet: Blazing Rocketeer
Today all players have gained access to the research and purchase of the F-84G and G.56 aircraft in the Italian research tree. Many players already achieved “12 tester arrows” and received access to whole Italian research tree!
From nearly facing project cancellation to becoming the primary strike fighter of the US Air Force in the Korean War, meet the definitive version of one of the first American close support aircraft of its kind that almost never came to be - The F-84G Thunderjet.
Development of the F-84 Thunderjet project began as early as 1944, when the Republic company proposed a new turbojet fighter aircraft intended to replace the P-47 Thunderbolt in day time operations. Following its maiden flight in 1946, the F-84 was commissioned for service in 1947 and was tasked with fulfilling the fighter-bomber role. However, due to engine reliability issues and numerous structural problems, early models of the aircraft were nearly phased out of service and production after a review of the US air force deemed them incapable of performing their intended role. Despite this, Republic’s engineers focused their efforts on addressing the flaws of the aircraft, determined they would get it right. A year and several variants later, in 1949, it seemed like the D model of the F-84 was finally shaping up to be the aircraft the US air force wanted.
However, meeting the requirements set by the air force, making the aircraft operational, didn’t mean it couldn’t be improved further to perform better. Thus development on the F-84 Thunderjet continued, and in 1951, around the start of the Korean War, the definitive G variant of the F-84 was constructed. The G model brought with it an improved J35-A-29 engine, allowed for in-flight refueling and introduced an autopilot to the navigation systems. Apart from that, one of the most significant modifications made to the F-84G was the ability to carry the Mark 7 nuclear bomb, making it also the first USAF fighter-bomber capable of packing such firepower. On the other hand, the numerous performance improvements over time gave the F-84G superb handling characteristics, also making it one of the first jets to be used by USAF flight demonstration teams. The F-84G also marks the final model of the F-84 with straight wings, subsequent models were built with a swept wing design and were renamed to “Thunderstreak”.
In total, around 4,500 F-84 Thunderjets were built across all its modifications. The G model made up for a considerable part of all F-84s, with approximately 3000 units built. Nearly 2000 F-84Gs were built for France, Italy, Belgium, Turkey and other NATO countries under the MDAP military assistance program. Non-NATO countries like Yugoslavia, Iran, Thailand and Taiwan also received small numbers of F-84Gs for their air forces. Thunderjets saw their peak in service with countries all over the world during the 1950s, being slowly phased out of use throughout the 60s with some countries and being completely taken out of service by the end of the 70s.
In War Thunder, the F-84G was introduced in Update 1.69 “Regia Aeronautica”, as part of the new Italian aviation research tree. There, it represents the final aircraft players can get when going down the Italian attacker line. And what a magnificent attacker the F-84G is! After obtaining the corresponding secondary weapon pylons, pilots of the F-84G will be able to equip their planes with an impressive array of bombs and rockets to go with their standard six .50 caliber M3 machine guns, mounted in the nose and wing roots of the aircraft. Thanks to this overwhelming amount of firepower, players will virtually be able to take on a small army all on their own, if necessary. However, the F-84G is not just an excellent ground attacker, but also a very potent fighter if no load is attached underneath the wings. Capable of reaching speeds close to 990 km/h (615 mph) at sea level without suffering from a major loss of controllability, this speed demon is certainly one of the fastest and most formidable jet fighters at its battle rating.
As with all jets, maintaining speed is key to winning single engagements, meaning that sharp turns and frequent maneuvering are best to be avoided in order to preserve speed. Conduct quick and accurate passes on your enemy, ideally from above, but never focus on a single target alone - this will ensure maximum combat efficiency and a minimal chance of getting caught off guard. Given the F-84G may often find itself fighting alongside piston engine aircraft, it’s recommended for pilots to prioritise enemy jets first. This way, they’ll be protecting their slower teammates by taking down the most dangerous opponents for them first and will be able to assist them in the later stage of a match in clearing out the remaining enemy force.
Tell us what you think about the F-84G and share your own experiences about it with other players in the comments below. Until next time!