The Vought F-8E Crusader is a supersonic single-engine, single-seat fighter developed for the United States Navy, and exported to France. The F-8 earned the nickname "The Last of the Gunfighters" thanks to the four 20mm Colt Mk.12 cannons utilized as the aircraft's primary armament, and the prevailing thought at the time that guns were unnecessary for modern air combat. France's history with the F-8 starts in the early 1960's; the French Navy required a fighter for its aircraft carriers Foch and Clemenceau. The F-4 Phantom II proved to be too large. F-8's of the US Navy's Fighting 32 "Swordsmen" performed trials on the Foch in 1962, and France chose the Crusader as their new naval fighter. Deliveries of 48 F-8E's began in 1964 and ended in 1965, with two squadrons, Flotille 12F and Flotille 14F, operational by the same year.
The F-8E Crusader is a relatively inexpensive Air Superiority Fighter available to French and NATO decks. Carrying four 20mm cannons and two fire-and-forget R.550 magic missiles, the type can be used to attack helicopters, or other short-range enemy fighters, but has no long-range missile option. This leaves the aircraft vulnerable to fire from enemy fighters of fairly low cost, but with a range advantage, and the Crusader's poor ECM does not defend it well against either AAMs or SAMs. At 65 points per aircraft, however, these drawbacks are far from prohibitive, and the Crusader's high speed, missile and gun armament make it a good option as an expedient interceptor or helicopter attacker.
The F-8E Crusader in Wargame: Red Dragon is left almost untouched from its AirLand Battle configuration, 60 points per aircraft, two R.550 Magic, 10% ECM, and 900km/h top speed. The only change to the F-8E apart from the 5 point reduction is the reduction of its cannons from four to two, but the aircraft carries the same ammo quantity and the cannons have the same fire rate. Its advantages and disadvantages are largely the same.