Military Review

McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II "The Leaving Legend"


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).

McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II "The Leaving Legend"

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.

Unmanned QF-4

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.

Based on:
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. PistonizaToR
    PistonizaToR 3 June 2013 08: 36
    For thrift, the Amer plus simply reduces teeth from anger when you recall how many MiG-21s 23 27 and Su-17s that still have a resource were simply stupidly cut. Incidentally, including a couple of regiments in the composition of Su-17m4 issued in 90-91.
    1. Argon
      Argon 3 June 2013 11: 36
      In my opinion, it is no longer a matter of frugality, but of the ability to use the available opportunities and rationally approach financial issues. The American places of concentration of decommissioned aircraft are located in places with climate conditions that can reasonably be called unique (as a rule, deserts with a slight drop average annual temperatures, low humidity and a practical absence of winds), and remoteness from densely populated areas, allows you not to spend money on security (in most cases). Airplane parking on such a base, taking into account "zero deterioration", does not require funds, in contrast to utilization, the profit of which does not In Russia, humidity and negative temperatures quickly destroy aircraft equipment (the issue of conservation measures is extremely expensive and laborious), the robbers are only completing this process. As for the Phantom itself, for its time the car is a "breakthrough", we are our own The Su-30 was born only in the mid-90s, but in general there are no more analogues (amerovskie machines, I will not consider I guess, they are development, not analogs), JH-7 is not such. a full-fledged WB at medium distances cannot be conducted. Yes, and there is more "Jaguar" in it, about the F-4 on the conscience of the author. turned out to be successful, which explains its longevity. Regarding the use of the F-4 as an attack UAV, I think this is unlikely, because. the complex of "robotization" equipment is quite expensive, and the degree of reliability of the machines is not high, and the wear of specific sides is significantly different in terms of factors, given that the "Phantom" is a very laborious (in maintenance, and even more so in repair) machine, it is more rational to use another platform, if not Now I will allow myself to criticize the author a little, the first car I had was IZH 412, and the second AZLK 2140, so they were "Strongly reminiscent" of each other, and even the concept of "analog" is difficult to apply to "Sparrow" and R-23. classic stories about "Phantom" - how did we "comunize" the engine of the Yankes? Much could be said about the comfortable suspension of the ASP, what is caused, how it is implemented. However, it is always easier to criticize than to work, on the whole it turned out okay. wink
      1. Geisenberg
        Geisenberg 3 June 2013 12: 37
        Quote: Argon
        In my opinion, the point is no longer in frugality, but in the ability to use the available opportunities and ...

        After the appearance of drones, this idea simply lay on the surface ... it was kicked and spat on, and only 30 years later someone had the intelligence to modify the decommissioned aircraft.

        I just do not understand why atky problems with the development of drones arose. After all, there are dozens of models of the most diverse aircraft of the pre-jet era. All you need to rediscover the design with respect to modern metrics and technologies and you will get a drone of absolutely any class.
      2. Bongo
        3 June 2013 14: 52
        JH-7 is closer in its characteristics to Phantom than to Jaguar
        Wingspan, m 12.80
        Length, m 21.00
        Height, m ​​6.22
        Wing area, m2 52.30
        Weight, kg
        - maximum takeoff 27500
        - fuel 6540
        Engine type 2 TDF Xian (XAE) WS-9
        Thrust, kN
        - unforced 2 x 71.29
        - forced 2 x 138.27
        The maximum speed, km / h 1795 (M = 1.69)
        Ferry range, km 3650
        Combat range, km 1650
        Practical ceiling, m 16000
        Crew 2
        combat load - 6500 kg
        Moreover, as already mentioned in the article, Rolls-Royce "Spey" Mk.202 / 203 engines are installed on it. Their British installed on their version of "Phantom" FG.Mk.1 (F-4K).
        Radar Type "232" is also copied from the US.
        As for the "storage sites", such a place is one of the Davis-Montan airbase, in Mojave civilian and transport vehicles are stored.
    2. Geisenberg
      Geisenberg 3 June 2013 12: 33
      Quote: PistonizaToR
      it simply reduces teeth from anger when you remember how many MiG-21s 23 27 and Su-17s that still have a resource were simply stupidly cut. Incidentally, including a couple of regiments in the composition of the Su-17m4 issued in 90-91.

      Yes, they drank a lot of things ... I would have had enough mind to preserve the rest. Mig-21 for example in the same way to convert ... the beast will ..
    3. Vovka levka
      Vovka levka 3 June 2013 17: 58
      Quote: PistonizaToR
      For thrift, the Amer plus simply reduces teeth from anger when you recall how many MiG-21s 23 27 and Su-17s that still have a resource were simply stupidly cut. Incidentally, including a couple of regiments in the composition of Su-17m4 issued in 90-91.

      Learning is what they have, and this is a fact.
    4. Fitter65
      Fitter65 4 June 2013 03: 52
      Yes, Fedorovich, here I agree with you, there’s nothing to add.
  2. avt
    avt 3 June 2013 09: 29
    Yeah, whatever one may say, this is no longer an airplane, but a legend, like the MiG-21. Practically became a household name of the Amer aviation information security. laughing +
  3. svskor80
    svskor80 3 June 2013 09: 39
    Yes, it’s a really good idea to use them as UAVs, at least shock, at least training.
  4. Katsin
    Katsin 3 June 2013 10: 43
    It is the same symbol of America as Levy's jeans and Coca-Cola. If there was money, I would certainly buy myself a decommissioned phantom. Pure rockenrol plane ...
    1. 0255
      0255 3 June 2013 11: 49
      I would also buy such a plane
  5. Rus_87
    Rus_87 3 June 2013 10: 45
    The Chinese JH-7 looks more like a "Jaguar" than a Phantom ... There is nothing like the Phantom in it. Engines, yes, they stole from the British modification of the Phantom, and the rest is 1 in 1 Jaguar, maybe there is something from Mirages ...
    1. Bongo
      3 June 2013 14: 53
      Mass overall characteristics compare.
      1. Argon
        Argon 3 June 2013 22: 52
        And where does the weight and size characteristics? Combat vehicles are "similar" either in terms of capabilities or design (which is largely determined by the layout, in other words, "general appearance") Let's compare the Phantom, dear Dongo, the JH-7 and An-26 weight and dimensions will be close. laughing
        1. Argon
          Argon 4 June 2013 00: 00
          I apologize to the nickname was wrong, I do not want to offend.
        2. Bongo
          4 June 2013 04: 50
          The line-up and performance characteristics of the phantom with the "Chinese" are also very similar.
          Jaguar in its capabilities closer to the Su-17.
  6. 0255
    0255 3 June 2013 11: 49
    I like the design of the "Phantom", a beautiful car, it is a pity that it was used in most cases for the aggression of the United States and Israel against the Vietnamese and Arabs.
  7. vagabo
    vagabo 3 June 2013 12: 07
    Well, taste and color ... smile
    To me, he always seemed one of the ugliest fighters of his generation.
    Especially in comparison with our handsome MIG-21.
    (I am aware that this is not a fully analogue. It's about design)
    1. tomket
      tomket 4 June 2013 22: 50
      the test pilots first saw the Phantom and nicknamed him "TWICE Ugly"
  8. Landwarrior
    Landwarrior 3 June 2013 13: 07
    For me, Phantom is primarily one of the symbols of the Vietnam War.
    For some reason, a picture is immediately drawn in my mind - a low-flying Phantom - and a wall of burning napalm behind it. winked
    By the way, if my memory serves me right, initially they didn’t put guns on them, because they thought that maneuvering battles were a thing of the past.
  9. Kovrovsky
    Kovrovsky 3 June 2013 13: 24
    A legendary aircraft, a worthy adversary in due time!
  10. PistonizaToR
    PistonizaToR 3 June 2013 18: 08
    The guns with modification E went, before that, like on the first 21x modifications, you can only hang a container with a gun, which is impractical, since rockets also need to be hung somewhere.
    1. Bongo
      3 June 2013 18: 11
      Partly, the absence of guns on the MiG-21PF was replaced with NURS C-5 units. Nursami armed usually slave. There are at least one case in which they shot down an American aircraft.
  11. uzer 13
    uzer 13 3 June 2013 19: 06
    The phantom is, of course, a legend and a symbol of its time. Even people far from the Air Force knew what the name means. But this plane had another feature that not everyone knows about. In those days, in connection with the development and improving the anti-aircraft missile systems, there was a big problem of overcoming the enemy’s air defense systems. To do this, it was necessary to press the plane as close as possible to the ground, where it was not captured by radars. Fighters, which had a small wing area and, as a result, high flight speed, could not fly very low, because the pilots did not have time to work out the terrain. And just on the Phantom we used an on-board computer connected with the autopilot to solve this problem. How useful this device was, I can’t judge. In those days, I could see the computer with my own eyes or an alien, it was about the same thing.
    1. Bongo
      3 June 2013 19: 08
      You are confused with the F-111.
      1. Raphael_83
        Raphael_83 3 June 2013 19: 31
        And nevertheless, "Phantom" in comparison with many machines of that time (not excluding "Mirages", "Saabs" and our MiGs) was a real electronic monster, you must agree wink .
        Yes, and the concept of a two-seater heavy "striker" was worked out for yat, fighters "Echo" (F-15E) and "Super Hornet" are worthy successors.
    2. The comment was deleted.
  12. Seraph
    Seraph 4 June 2013 00: 58
    Eh, Phantom Phantom ...
    Our pilot Li Si Qing shot down you! )))
    Yes, I can hardly reconcile myself to a world in which there is no "rock'n'roll" (in the words of our Jewish partners) technology and their opponents: neither Phantoms, nor MiGs 21s, 23s, Sushki 17s, Jaguars, Mirages, Harriers, Estandards, Skyhawks, etc. But the times will come and, this is a complete collapse of the era, the Su-27, MiG-29, Igla, Hornets, Thunderbolts, Su-25 will go under the knife. And I still remember such wonderful planes as the British Canberras, Volcanoes and Nimrods in service with the RAF.
    And now you look at these hard-to-stealth robots and no aesthetic satisfaction. To fall in love with the latest technology, you had to be born with a mouse in your hand and an iPhone mounted in the brain. New generations - new aesthetics
  13. sashka
    sashka 4 June 2013 01: 42
    Nice plane. "Legend" They even composed a song .. We have a MiG-21. They are brothers...
  14. papik09
    papik09 7 June 2013 22: 31
    Quote: tomket
    the test pilots first saw the Phantom and nicknamed him "TWICE Ugly"

    And the plane is beautiful in appearance. A handsome cannot be a freak, especially twice. By the way, the SU-27, MiG-29, 31, 35 resemble the F-4 in appearance (in "profile").
  15. Pate
    Pate 22 July 2015 17: 28
    The fighter is a legend, like its adversary in the sky of Vietnam MiG-21.
  16. Yak-3P
    Yak-3P 22 July 2015 18: 00
    this is the most emergency plane (jet) at the beginning of its journey .. even Hartmann was against accepting it for the Luftwaffe at first