F-4E Phantom II
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: F-4B Phantom, F-4C, F-4D, F-4EJ, F-4F, F-4G Wild Weasel, F-4H Phantom II, F-4J, F-4K, F-4M, F-4N, F-4S, Kurnass 2000, QF-4N, RF-4B, RF-4C and RF-4E
Origin: United States of America
Parent System: F-4 Phantom II
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1961
Total Production: 5,195
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Description: F-4 Phantom II is a twin-engine, all weather, tandem twin-seat, heavy fighter-bomber developed to meet the requirements of the United States Navy. The initial model/prototype rolled out in the mid-1950s as the F-4H Phantom II. In 1961 the F-4B Phantom II fleet air defense fighter achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) with the US Navy. F-4s are powered by two General Electric J79 engines rated at 17,900 pounds of thrust each with afterburning allowing to achieve Mach 2.4 top speed. F-4s purchased by the United Kingdom were powered by Spey in lieu of J79. Despite its air defense primary role, they may be equipped with both air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons.
In the early 1960s, the United States Air Force (USAF) ordered the F-4 aircraft with the F-4C as the first model which was followed by F-4D, F-4E and F-4G. The F-4G, an F-4E derivative, was designed for Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD) role and was known as the F-4G Wild Weasel. Wild Weasels were deployed successfully during the Gulf War in 1991. The US Marine Corps also ordered the F-4 aircraft in the following models: F-4J, F-4N and F-4S. F-4E was the most capable variant equipped with APQ-120 radar and a 20mm M61A1 internal cannon. Several upgrade programs have replaced APQ-120 by APG-65, -66 or -76. F-4s were widely deployed during the Vietnam.
All in, McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) built more than 5,000 F-4s for the United States Armed Forces and many international customers. Japan built under license the F-4EJ variant and Israel purchased the F-4E which was upgraded to Kurnass 2000 to continuing operating in the 21st century. RF-4 aircraft were modified existing F-4 models to conduct reconnaissance flights. German F-4F is equipped with the AMRAAM missile. QF-4N is an unmanned variant utilized as flying target. In 1996 the United States retired its last F-4/G aircraft. Currently, export customers are the only operators for the aircraft type.
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