The CF-104 is a single-engine, single seat supersonic multi-role combat aircraft. The CF-104 entered Canadian service in March 1962. Originally designed as a supersonic interceptor aircraft, it was used primarily for low-level strike and reconnaissance by the RCAF. Eight CF-104 squadrons were originally stationed in Europe as part of Canada's NATO commitment. This was reduced to six in 1967, with a further reduction to three squadrons in 1970. Up to 1971, this included a nuclear strike role that would see Canadian aircraft armed with US-supplied nuclear weapons in the event of a conflict with Warsaw Pact forces.
The CF-104 is a relatively inexpensive multi-role platform available to Canadian and NATO decks. Carrying the 20mm Vulcan cannon, thirty-eight 70mm rockets and a pair of AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles, the CF-104 can effectively attack lightly armored vehicles and infantry, as well as helicopters operating in its vicinity. The type lacks any ECM, and does not have a long-range missile available, leaving it vulnerable to attack by both long range SAMs as well as enemy fighters. At only 60 points per aircraft, however, these drawbacks are far from prohibitive, and the CF-104 is a highly cost-effective light strike and anti-helicopter option.
The CF-104 is almost identical to its AirLand Battle configuration in Wargame: Red Dragon. It carries the same loadout and has the same performance characteristics, but is 10 points more to field per aircraft. Its strengths and weaknesses are largely the same between the two entries.