The F-17 is a well rounded Interceptor. While it cannot carry Heavy Missiles, it can perform evasive maneuvers and mount a cannon. Its main disadvantage is its low speed, allowing for UFO's to outrun the F-17.
The F-17 is a reliable workhorse and is the primary dog fighting and escort aircraft of the Xenonauts. Tough, agile and versatile, it mounts both light missiles and a craft cannon and is able to use the ‘Roll’ evasive maneuver in combat to evade incoming projectiles. Although slower than the MiG-32 and unable to carry heavy missiles, its cannon excels at destroying agile UFOs that are difficult to destroy with missile fire and its high survivability means it will usually make it back to base even after sustaining a few hits in battle.
However, the comparatively shorter operational range and low top speed means it is unlikely to catch the faster UFOs and it is better suited to asserting air superiority against the more aggressive UFOs. The lack of heavy missile slots means that it is relatively ineffective against capital ships, which possess sufficiently thick armour that an F-17 does not carry enough ammunition to destroy one alone. In such situations, it is advisable to either deploy multiple F-17s as a squadron or bring along a MiG-32 in a capital-ship hunting role.
After the player establishes their first base they will be given two interceptors, future F-17's can only be purchased.