The F-4 Phantom II is a twin-engine, all-weather, tactical fighter-bomber capable of speeds of more than 1,600 mph and altitudes approaching 60,000 feet. Flight speeds of 150 to 165 mph, neces-sary for short landing field operations, are made possible by the use of high-lift flaps. All F-4 models have folding wings for easy aircraft storage and ground handling.
The Air Force flew its first F-4 in May 1963. The F-4C, called the Wild Weasel, is a Navy F-4B model modified to meet Air Force requirements. Changes include wider-tread, Iow-pressure tires; larger wheels and brakes; cartridge starters; dual controls; boom in-flight refueling; and an inertial navigation system. The F-4C has a pod-mounted 20mm multibarrel gun and outer mountings for a large weapon Icad. The Phantom F-4D model features major changes that increase accuracy in weapons delivery. The Air Force received its first F-4D in March 1966.
The first F-4E was delivered in October 1967. This model has an additional fuselage fuel tank, leading-edge slats for increased maneuverability, an improved engine, and an internally mounted 20mm multibarrel gun with improved fire-control system.
F-4Es were first fitted with target-identification systems in 1973. Essentially a television camera with zoom lens, each system pro-vides long-range visual identification of airborne or ground targets. Modified systems provide the F-4E with day-night, all-weather capability to acquire, track, and designate ground targets for laser, infrared, and electro-optically guided weapons.
The F-4G Wild Weasel models, first delivered to the Air Force in 1978, increase the survivability of tactical strike forces by seeking out and suppressing or destroying enemy radar-directed anti-aircraft batteries and surface-to-air missile sites. The F-4G is equipped with sophisticated electronic Warfare equipment in place of the internally mounted 20mm gun of the F-4E and can carry a greater variety of weapons than earlier Wild Weasel aircraft.
There are more than 1,000 F-4 Phantoms in the Air Force inventory. They are assigned to the Tactical Air Command, United States Air Forces in Europe, Pacific Air Forces, Alaskan Air Com-mand, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve.
Primary function: all-weather tactical fighter-bomber
Prime contractor: McDonnell Aircraft Co., McDonnell Douglas Corp.
Power plant/manufacturer: two General Electric turbojet engines with afterburners: F-4C/D--J79-GE-15, F-4E/G--J79-GE-17 Thrust: each engine with afterburner: F-4C/D--17,000 pounds, F-4E/G-- 17,900 pounds
Dimensions: wingspan 38 feet 11 inches; length F-4C/D--58 feet 3 inches, F-4E/G--62 feet 11 inches; height 16 feet 5 inches Speed: more than Mach 2 at 40,000 feet
Ceiling: above 60,000 feet
Range: beyond 1,300 miles with typical tactical Icad
Crew: two-pilot and weapons systems operator
Armament: F-4C/D--four AIM-7E Sparrow and four AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, provisions for 20mm gun pods at fuselage centerline station or outboard pylons, and one fuselage center-line bomb rack and four pylon bomb racks capable of carrying up to 12,500 pounds of general purpose bombs; nuclear weapon capability; F-4E--one 20mm M61A-1 multibarrel gun, four AIM-7 Sparrow and four AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, and one fuselage centerline bomb rack and four pylon bomb racks capable of carry-ing 12,500 pounds of general purpose bombs; F-4G--same as F-4E except gun removed and Shrike, standard ARM and HARM capability added
Maximum takeoff weight: 58,000 pounds