In November of 1950, the Tactical Air Command began the development of a variant of the F-84 Thunderjet capable of carrying nuclear bombs in a tactical role. The variant developed for this role was the F-84G. It was viewed only as an interim type, being manufactured only until the swept-wing F-84F Thunderstreak could be introduced into service. However, because of delays in getting the F-84F into production, the F-84G continued in production until July 27, 1953, the last day of the Korean War. It actually became the most-widely manufactured version of the F/P-84 series, some 3025 examples being built.
The F-84G differed from earlier Thunderjets in having a more powerful engine--the Allison J35-A-29, rated at 5600 pounds of thrust. The F-84G had provision for up to 4000 pounds of external stores. It had provision for inflight boom refuelling, with a refueling probe receptacle in the port wing. This was in contrast to the probe-and-drogue system which had been tested on some earlier F-84s. Because longer-duration missions were anticipated for the F-84G, an autopilot was fitted to provide some relief to the pilot. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the F-84G was the introduction of a multi-framed, reinforced canopy which replaced the clear unframed canopy of earlier versions. However, the presence of a reinforced canopy on a Thunderjet was not always a reliable indicator of its being a G-model, since this type of canopy was fitted retroactively to many earlier F-84s.
The first F-84G was delivered in to the USAF in June of 1951. Most of them went to TAC and SAC units and served with stateside units and with units deployed in Europe, although a few did serve in Korea. The 49th Air Division with one wing (the 20th Fighter Bomber Wing) equipped with F-84Gs deployed to the UK in 1952. The F-84G also served with SAC in the long-range escort role. It began making long-range refuelled flights in 1952.
In 1953, straight-winged Thunderjets were serving with 14 USAF wings. Those F-84Gs equipped for the delivery of nuclear weapons used the Low Altitude Bombing System (LABS) in which the aircraft would approach its target at low altitudes, pull up sharply, toss its nuclear bomb, then do an Immelmann and fly back in the opposite direction to escape the nuclear blast.
Some 3025 F-84G aircraft were constructed, bringing the grand total of all straight-wing Thunderjets built to 4455. 1936 of the G-models purchased by the USAF went directly to NATO allies and to other nations participating in the Mutual Defense Assistance Program (MDAP). Since they were purchased with MDAP funds, they carried USAF serial numbers although these foreign-operated Thunderjets never flew in US service. By 1953, straight-winged Thunderjets were serving with some 21 NATO fighter-bomber wings. F-84Gs served with the air forces of Belgium, Denmark (1952-1961, Sqn 725, 726, 727, 728, 729, 730 at Karup and Skrydstrup AB), Norway, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Portugal, and Taiwan. F-84Gs were also exported to "non-aligned" nations such as Yugoslavia, Iran, and Thailand. Since Yugoslavia was at that time run by a "Communist" government, the export of F-84Gs to Yugoslavia caused some political controversy in the USA.
The F-84G had been largely retired from SAC by 1956, but was still active with the TAC. By the late 1950s, they had largely been replaced in USAF service by swept-wing F-84F Thunderstreaks.
Specification of the F-84G:
One Allison J35-A-29, 5600 lb.st. Performance: Maximum speed: 622 mph at sea level. An altitude of 35,000 feet could be attained in 9.4 minutes. Service ceiling 40,500 feet. Maximum range 2000 miles. Weights were 10,205 pounds empty, 14,724 pounds gross, 22,46 pounds maximum takeoff. Dimensions were wingspan 36 feet 5 inches, length 38 feet 1 inches, height 12 feet 7 inches, wing area 260 square feet.
Serials of the F-84G:
51-692/996 Republic F-84G-1-RE Thunderjet 51-997/1066 Republic F-84G-5-RE Thunderjet 51-1067/1116 Republic F-84G-10-RE Thunderjet 51-1117/1226 Republic F-84G-15-RE Thunderjet 51-1227/1281 Republic F-84G-20-RE Thunderjet 51-1282/1343 Republic F-84G-25-RE Thunderjet 51-9548/9622 Republic F-84E-30-RE Thunderjet 51-9623/9707 Republic F-84G-2-RE Thunderjet 51-9708/9964 Republic F-84G-6-RE Thunderjet 51-9965/10304 Republic F-84G-11-RE Thunderjet 51-10305/10764 Republic F-84G-16-RE Thunderjet 51-10765/10974 Republic F-84G-21-RE Thunderjet 51-10975/11249 Republic F-84G-26-RE Thunderjet 51-16643/16751 Republic F-84G-26-RE Thunderjet 52-2893/3192 Republic F-84G-31-RE Thunderjet 52-3193/3242 Republic F-84G-25-RE Thunderjet 52-3243/3329 Republic F-84G-30-RE Thunderjet 52-8287/8486 Republic F-84G-31-RE Thunderjet