The most famous American combat aircraft 1960-1980-ies, whose name has long been a household name for all US Air Force and Navy fighters. The world's first truly multipurpose supersonic fighter. It was the same symbol of the Cold War as the strategic bomber B-52.
He became the first tactical and deck aircraft aviation capable of using medium-range missiles (before that they were carried only by air defense interceptors). After that, missiles of this class R-23/24 (very reminiscent of AIM-7) appeared on the MiG-23.
In China, with a delay of 20 years, it appeared its own "analog" - JH-7, created based on the "Phantom" and borrowed his engines and radar.
JH-7 Aircraft of the PRC Air Force
Work on the creation of this aircraft began in 1953, when the US Navy announced a competition to create a deck-mounted supersonic fighter. Although the McDonnell project failed to compete, it was taken as the basis for the creation of the AN-1 carrier-based fighter-bomber.
But in December 1955, the task of the Navy was radically revised: instead of a fighter-bomber, the fleet ordered a high-altitude long-range deck interceptor with M = 2 and purely rocket armament. In July, the 1955 was made a full-scale mock fighter, designated F4H-1F, and the 27 in May 1958, the aircraft first flew (test pilot R. C Little). On the first prototype, the General Electric J79-3A (2 x 6715 kgf) TRDFs were installed, replaced by J50-GE-79 after the 2 test flights, and then to the even more powerful J79-GE-2A (2 x XNNMX-GE-7325xXNNXXNNXX-1960-2-2583-23-4-960). In 4 Phantom-1 set a series of world speed records, in particular, the absolute speed record 4 km / h (in this Phantom, engines for increasing thrust were equipped with a water-alcohol mixture injection system in front of the compressors to cool its blades). The XNUMX aircraft of the pilot series were further designated as F-XNUMXA and were used only for flight tests. In December, IXNUMX at the St. Louis aircraft factory began serial production of the FXNUMXH-XNUMX aircraft, also renamed F-XNUMXA.
F-4B - an improved version of the naval defense all-weather fighter aircraft, made its first flight in March 1961 of the Navy and the US Marine Corps in 1961-1967. 637 aircraft of this type were supplied (some of them were later converted into other modifications).
In 1965, RF-4B (F4H-1P) was created - an unarmed photo reconnaissance based on F-4B; United States Marine Corps 1965-1970 46 aircraft were delivered. The F-4G (the first with the same name) was a variant of the F-4B fighter, adapted for landing on the aircraft carrier deck in automatic mode (the 12 built aircraft were later converted into F-4B).
The advanced multi-purpose deck fighter F-4J made its first flight in May 1966 g., The Navy and IMS in the 1966-1972 gg. 522 aircraft of this type were supplied.
The 148 of the F-4B aircraft in the 1973-1978 It was upgraded to F-4N, having a hardened design and improved avionics.
Part of the F-4J has been modified to version F-4S, also having a hardened design, upgraded equipment and engines.
The US Air Force in March 1962 decided to adopt the Phantom-2 as a multipurpose fighter. The aircraft, designated F-4C (originally F-110), made its first flight in May 1963g. In 1963-1966 The USAF was supplied by an 583 fighter of this type. At its base, the RF-1964C (RF-4A) scout was created in 110, in 1964-1974. The USAF was supplied 505 reconnaissance aircraft.
F-4D is an improved version of the F-4C, made its first flight in December 1965 (in 1966-1968, 825 aircraft were built).
The most massive modification of the "Phantom" - F-4E, took to the air in June 1967, and was produced from 1967 to 1976 (built 1387 aircraft).
F-4G "Wild Weasle" - a specialized anti-radar aircraft of the Air Force, designed to destroy the air defense system and radar, converted from the F-4E fighter, made its first flight in December 1975 g., In 1978-1981 years. 116 aircraft of this type were supplied.
The aircraft is made according to the normal aerodynamic scheme with a low-swept trapezoidal wing, which has folding consoles, and swept tail.
To increase the lateral stability, a positive transverse V angle equal to 12 ° is given to the cantilever parts. There is a developed mechanization, on a number of modifications - the UPS system. For landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier, a brake hook is installed on the aircraft (allows it to land with a landing mass up to 17 000 kg).
The composition of the control system weapons The F-4E includes AN / APQ-120 pulse-Doppler radar, AN / ASQ-26 optical sight, AN / AJB-7 navigation bomber subsystem, and AN / ASQ-9L bomb counting device.
REB facilities include AN / APR-36 / 37 radar detection receivers and AN / ALQ-71 / 72 / 87 interference transmitters.
The flight navigation system F-4E includes ANS / ANN-63 ANS, AN / ASN-46 calculator and low-altitude radio altimeter AN / APN-155. For communication, radionavigation and identification, there is a comprehensive AN / ASQ-19 system, including a TACAN transceiver.
Armament. At nine external suspension sites, the F-4E can carry a variety of weapons, including four medium-range AIM-7 "Sparrow" in the niches under the fuselage, the "Sparrow", "Sidewind", "Bulpup", "Popai" and " Shrike "on the wing assemblies of the suspension, as well as two or three containers SUU-16 / A or SUU-23 / A with М61А1 guns (1200 ammunition ammunition for the gun), blocks with NAR, free-falling bombs, air pouring devices (VAP) for the winged and central ventral nodes.
The aircraft can be armed with two nuclear bombs Mk43, Mk.57, Mk.61 or Mk.28.
The maximum combat load is 6800 kg, but it is achieved only with incomplete refueling of fuel tanks.
In the forward fuselage of the F-4E and F-4F aircraft, a six-barreled M61A1 “Volcano” (20 mm, 639 shells) is mounted.
For action on ground targets, aircraft can be equipped with six MUR AGM-65 "Mayvrik"; F-4G aircraft take on board AGM-45 Shrike (two SD), AGM-78 Standard or AGM-88 HARM anti-radar missiles.
F-4A - multi-purpose carrier-based fighter (experimental series);
RF-4B (F4H-1P) - deck photo reconnaissance;
F-4G - multi-purpose carrier-based fighter (later converted into F-4B);
F-4J - multipurpose carrier-based fighter;
F-4S - US Navy multi-purpose carrier-based fighter (converted from F-4J);
F-4C (F-110) - multipurpose fighter;
RF-4C (RF-110A) - photo reconnaissance;
F-4D - multipurpose fighter;
F-4E - multipurpose fighter;
F-4G "Wild Weasle" - anti-radar aircraft;
F-4M - multi-purpose fighter (for the UK);
F-4K - multipurpose fighter (for Great Britain);
F-4EJ - F-4E fighter version for Japan;
RF-4E - reconnaissance aircraft (for export deliveries);
The F-4F is a multipurpose fighter (for the Federal Republic of Germany).
Production of aircraft "Phantom-2" for the Air Force and the US Navy continued until 1976 (1218 aircraft were delivered for the Navy, 46 - Marine Corps and 2712 for the Air Force). In addition, 1384 aircraft was exported (Australia received 24 fighter, Great Britain - 185, Greece - 64, Egypt - 35, Israel - 216, Iran - 225, Spain - 40, Turkey - 95, Germany - 273, South Korea - 73 and Japan - 2; part of the aircraft was transferred from the US armed forces). Thus, the F-4 became the most popular foreign fighter jet: in all, the 5195 Phantom was built in the USA. Also in Japan in 1971-1980. the F-4EJ aircraft, a variant of the F-4E fighter (built by the 138 aircraft), was manufactured under an American license.
Satellite image of Google Earth: F-4J aircraft of the Japanese air force, Miho airbase
Dimensions (F-4E). Wingspan 11,7 m; length of the aircraft 19,2 m; 5 aircraft height m; 49,2 m2 wing area.
Mass, kg: maximum take-off: 24 800 (F-4B), 26 330 (F-4E, RF-4E, F-4G), 25900 (F-4S); normal takeoff 20 860 (F-4B), 20 000 (F-4C), 20 800 (F-4E); empty 13 760 (F-4E); fuel in the internal tanks 6080 (F-4E), fuel in PTB 4000 (1 x 2270 l and 2 x 1400 l).
Power point. F-4B - two General Electric TRDFs J79-GE-8 (2 x 7780 kgf), F-4E - J79-GE-17 (2 x X 8120 kgf).
Flight performance. Maximum speed 2300 km / h; practical ceiling 16 600 m (F-4E); maximum rate of climb 220 m / s (F-4E); practical range 2380 km (F-4B), 2590 km (F-4E); the length of the run 1340 m; the length of the run with the brake parachute 950 m; maximum operating overload 6,0.
The F-4 fighter for a long time remained the main aircraft gaining air superiority of the American Air Force and Navy. The baptism of the Phantom took place on April 2 1965 in Vietnam, where this type of aircraft met with the North Vietnamese MiG-17F fighters. Since 1966, the main opponents of the “Phantoms” have become MiG-21F aircraft. The Air Force and the US Navy had high hopes for the newest fighter, believing that powerful weapons, on-board radar, high speed and acceleration characteristics would provide Phantom with absolute superiority over enemy aircraft. However, when confronted with lighter and more maneuverable fighters, the F-4 began to lose. A big load on the wing and lower speeds of American American fighter jets, limitations on operational overload (6,0 versus 8,0 in MiGs) and angles of attack, worse handling of the American aircraft affected. It did not have F-4 and advantages in terms of thrust-weight ratio (with a normal take-off weight of 0,79 in the MiG-21PF and 0,74 in the F-4B). The advantages of the Phantom, manifested in Vietnam, were somewhat better acceleration characteristics (F-4E accelerated from speed 600 km / h to 1100 km / h
for 20 s, and MiG-21PF - for 27,5 s), higher rate of climb, better visibility from the cockpit and the presence of a second crew member who monitored the air situation and promptly warned the commander about the threat from the rear hemisphere.
The most "productive" American crew of the "Phantom" of the Vietnam War were pilot S. Richie and cameraman C. Bellevue, who shot down five MiGs (according to American data).
At the end of the 1960s, the Israeli Air Force F-4E aircraft began to be used in combat operations in the Middle East. Initially, the Israelis assumed that the new American technology would become an effective tool in the fight against the Egyptian MiG-21, but quite soon they became convinced of the Phantom’s low suitability for these tasks, which forced Israel to organize its own production of Mirage fighters, using even such “non-gentlemanly” methods as the abduction of French technical documentation. In the future, "Phantoms" were reoriented to the solution of percussion problems. Using the "Phantoms" as a shock, predetermined their high losses (up to 70% of the fleet of these cars), during the next Arab-Israeli war in 1973, from the Soviet-era air defense system.
Soviet-made mobile air defense system KVADRAT (SA-6) caused the greatest losses to the Israeli Air Force in 1973
The “phantoms” used by the Iranian Air Force were used in the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988, but the details of the combat use of F-4 aircraft in this conflict are not known (however, the fact of the first stories aviation combat aircraft and a helicopter when the Iraqi Mi-24 shot down attacking him F-4E).
The extreme combat loss of the aircraft of this type of aircraft was 22 of June 2012, when the Syrian air defense weapons shot down the tactical reconnaissance RF-4E of the Turkish Air Force in their airspace.
Today, airplanes of this type are in service with the Air Force: Egypt (about 20 F-4E), Greece (about 50 modernized by DASA F-4E PI-2000 and RF-4E), Iran (the number of serviceable is not known, all buildings of the 60 end (x), Turkey (around X-NUMX F-150E and RF-4E), South Korea (near-4 F-50E), Japan (around 4 F-100EJ and own-built RF-4EJ).
Available in storage in the US "Phantoms" are being converted into radio-controlled unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), for use as targets.
According to the Eglin airbase website, 17 on April 2013, the F-309 Phantom II completed its last flight over the Davis-Montana airbase in Tucson (fully restored by the AMARG) by the 4 Group of Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group. piece Arizona) before heading to Mojave, unit California.
The RF-4C Phantom aircraft with the 68-0599 number was delivered to the AMARG for storage on January 18 of the year 1989 and has not flown since.
Technicians re-installed hundreds of parts on the aircraft and completed thousands of hours of work to get the car back into flight. This aircraft is the 316 F-4, taken out of storage for the implementation of the full-scale FSAT (full-scale aerial target) program of the Combat Aviation Command.
BAE Systems will convert this vehicle to a QF-4C target aircraft and will eventually be transferred to the 82 Squadron Aerial Target Squadron (ATRS) at Tyndall Air Base, Pcs. Florida.
Google Earth satellite image: F-4 airplanes prepared for conversion into radio-controlled QF-4, Davis-Montand air base
Google Earth satellite image: radio-controlled QF-4, Tyndall airbase
A distinctive external sign of such aircraft are the red winged tips and keels. Total ordered 200 such devices. Provided and combat use of these machines.
9 January 2008 of the QF-4 unmanned aircraft (F-4 "Phantom" modification) for the first time launched an air-to-surface combat missile.
The main combat mission of the “Phantoms” re-equipped in UAVs is the suppression of enemy air defenses. It is assumed that the use of unmanned modifications "Phantoms" will reduce the loss of pilots during operations to suppress enemy air defenses.
There is no doubt that in the next 10 years, the main operators will remove from service aircraft of this type. And this legendary aircraft can be seen only in a museum or in a private collection.