McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II

F-4 Phantom IIF-4 PhantomF-4McDonnell F-4 Phantom IIF-4C Phantom IIRF-4C Phantom IIF-4D Phantom IIF-4 PhantomsF-4E Phantom IIPhantom
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor and fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft.wikipedia
1,826 Related Articles

McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle

F-15 EagleF-15F-15C Eagle
The F-4 continued to form a major part of U.S. military air power throughout the 1970s and 1980s, being gradually replaced by more modern aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon in the U.S. Air Force, the F-14 Tomcat in the U.S. Navy, and the F/A-18 Hornet in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.
The canonical example was the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, used by the USAF, USN, and U.S. Marine Corps to provide air superiority over Vietnam, the only fighter with enough power, range, and maneuverability to be given the primary task of dealing with the threat of Soviet fighters while flying with visual engagement rules.

Air superiority fighter

air superiorityAir Defenceair-superiority
It served as the principal air superiority fighter for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps and became important in the ground-attack and aerial reconnaissance roles late in the war.
In the United States, the influential proponents of BVR developed fighters with no forward-firing gun, such as the original F-4 Phantom II, as it was thought that they would never need to resort to WVR combat.

Iran–Iraq War

Iran-Iraq warTanker WarIraq-Iran War
Israeli Phantoms saw extensive combat in several Arab–Israeli conflicts, while Iran used its large fleet of Phantoms, acquired before the fall of the Shah, in the Iran–Iraq War.
Groups of F-4 Phantom and F-5 Tiger fighter jets attacked targets throughout Iraq, such as oil facilities, dams, petrochemical plants, and oil refineries, and included Mosul Airbase, Baghdad, and the Kirkuk oil refinery.

Republic of Korea Air Force

ROKAFAir ForceSouth Korean Air Force
As of 2018, 60 years after its first flight, the F-4 remains in service with Iran, Japan, South Korea, Greece, and Turkey.
The ROKAF acquired North American T-28 Trojan trainers, North American F-86D Sabre night- and all-weather interceptors, Northrop F-5 fighters and McDonnell Douglas F-4D Phantom fighter bombers.

Air-to-air missile

air-to-airair-to-air missilesAAM
It can carry more than 18,000 pounds (8,400 kg) of weapons on nine external hardpoints, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, and various bombs.
The use of Beyond Visual Range combat became so pervasive in the US that early F-4 variants were armed only with missiles in the 1960s.

Vought F-8 Crusader

F-8 CrusaderRF-8G CrusaderF8U Crusader
The Navy was sufficiently interested to order a full-scale mock-up of the F3H-G/H, but felt that the upcoming Grumman XF9F-9 and Vought XF8U-1 already satisfied the need for a supersonic fighter. Because the Navy already had the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk for ground attack and F-8 Crusader for dogfighting, the project now had to fulfill the need for an all-weather fleet defense interceptor.
Major competition came from the Grumman F-11 Tiger, the upgraded twin-engine McDonnell F3H Demon (which would eventually become the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II), and lastly, the North American F-100 Super Sabre hastily adapted to carrier use and dubbed the "Super Fury".

McDonnell F3H Demon

F3H DemonF3H-2 DemonMcDonnell F3H-2 Demon
In 1953, McDonnell Aircraft began work on revising its F3H Demon naval fighter, seeking expanded capabilities and better performance.
It was withdrawn before it could serve in Vietnam when both it and the Crusader were replaced on Forrestal-class and similar supercarriers by the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II.

Supersonic aircraft

supersonicsupersonic airlinersupersonic jet
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor and fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft.

Douglas A-4 Skyhawk

A-4 SkyhawkA-4Skyhawk
Because the Navy already had the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk for ground attack and F-8 Crusader for dogfighting, the project now had to fulfill the need for an all-weather fleet defense interceptor.
These older ships were often unable to accommodate newer Navy fighters such as the F-4 Phantom II and F-8 Crusader, which were faster and more capable than the A-4, but significantly larger and heavier than older naval fighters.

McDonnell FH Phantom

FH PhantomFH-1 PhantomMcDonnell FH-1 Phantom
In the end, the aircraft was given the less controversial name "Phantom II", the first "Phantom" being another McDonnell jet fighter, the FH-1 Phantom.
When McDonnell chose to bring the name back with the Mach 2–class McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, it launched what would become the most versatile and widely used western combat aircraft of the Vietnam War era, adopted by the USAF and the US Navy, remaining in use with various countries to the present day.

Wild Weasel

Iron HandIron Hand missionWeasels
The F-4 Phantom II remained in use by the U.S. in the reconnaissance and Wild Weasel (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) roles in the 1991 Gulf War, finally leaving service in 1996.
The Wild Weasel II version was the first unsuccessful attempt to use the F-4C as the Wild Weasel platform.

McDonnell F-101 Voodoo

F-101 VoodooMcDonnell F-101B VoodooF-101B Voodoo
As in the McDonnell F-101 Voodoo, the engines sat low in the fuselage to maximize internal fuel capacity and ingested air through fixed geometry intakes.
While the Voodoo was a moderate success, it may have been more important as an evolutionary step towards its replacement in most roles, the F-4 Phantom II, one of the most successful Western fighter designs of the 1960s.

Vought XF8U-3 Crusader III

XF8U-3 Crusader IIIF8U-3Vought XF8U–3 Crusader III
The aircraft soon squared off against the XF8U-3 Crusader III.
The Vought XF8U-3 Crusader III was an aircraft developed by Chance Vought as a successor to the successful Vought F-8 Crusader program and as a competitor to the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II.

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

NAS MiramarMCAS MiramarNaval Air Station Miramar
649 F-4Bs were built with deliveries beginning in 1961 and VF-121 Pacemakers receiving the first examples at NAS Miramar.
The air station is the former location of Pacific Fleet fighter and Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft (F-4 Phantom II, F-14 Tomcat, E-2 Hawkeye) and is best known as the former location of the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School (NFWS), its TOPGUN training program and the movie of the same name.

VF-121

Fighter Squadron 121VF-121 PacemakersVF-781
649 F-4Bs were built with deliveries beginning in 1961 and VF-121 Pacemakers receiving the first examples at NAS Miramar.
On 11 April 1958 it changed duty from Fleet Squadron to Fleet Replacement Squadron and was later charged with the training of Navy F-4 Phantom flight and maintenance crews.

AN/APQ-120

AN/AWG-10AN/APG-59AN/APQ-50
All-weather intercept capability was achieved thanks to the AN/APQ-50 radar.
The AN/APQ-120 was an aircraft fire control radar (FCR) manufactured by Westinghouse for the McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II.

Convair F-106 Delta Dart

F-106 Delta DartF-106Convair F-106A Delta Dart
After an F-4B won the "Operation Highspeed" fly-off against the Convair F-106 Delta Dart, the USAF borrowed two Naval F-4Bs, temporarily designating them F-110A "Spectre" in January 1962, and developed requirements for their own version.
Later fighters such as the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II and McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle carried missiles recessed in the fuselage or externally, but stealth aircraft would re-adopt the idea of carrying missiles or bombs internally for reduced radar signature.

Hellenic Air Force

Greek Air ForceRoyal Hellenic Air ForceAir Force
As of 2018, 60 years after its first flight, the F-4 remains in service with Iran, Japan, South Korea, Greece, and Turkey.
In the mid-1970s the Hellenic Air Force was further modernized with deliveries of the Dassault Mirage F1CG fleet, the Vought A-7 Corsair II (including a number of TA-7Hs) and the first batch of McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs.

M61 Vulcan

Vulcan cannonM61A1Vulcan
Later models incorporated an M61 Vulcan rotary cannon.
It was integrated into the newer F-4E Phantom II variants.

General Electric J79

J79GE J79J-79
The company developed several projects, including a variant powered by a Wright J67 engine, and variants powered by two Wright J65 engines, or two General Electric J79 engines.
The J79 was used on the F-104 Starfighter, B-58 Hustler, F-4 Phantom II, A-5 Vigilante, IAI Kfir and SSM-N-9 Regulus II supersonic cruise missile.

Weapon systems officer

Weapons Systems Officerweapons officerWSO
The Air Force later assigned a rated Air Force Navigator qualified as a weapon/targeting systems officer (later designated as weapon systems officer or WSO) in the rear seat instead of another pilot.
That included two-seat variants of fighter or attack/strike aircraft (including late 20th century types such as the F-4 Phantom II, A-6 Intruder, F-111, Panavia Tornado, Su-24 Fencer and Su-30MK Flanker-C, Dassault Mirage 2000N/2000D).

Hardpoint

pylonhard pointpylons
It can carry more than 18,000 pounds (8,400 kg) of weapons on nine external hardpoints, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, and various bombs.
Stations may be numbered for reference or not at all (F-4 Phantom II).

AIM-7 Sparrow

AIM-7Sea SparrowSparrow
The XF4H-1 was designed to carry four semi-recessed AAM-N-6 Sparrow III radar-guided missiles, and to be powered by two J79-GE-8 engines.
The -6a was also selected to arm the Air Force's F-110A Spectre (F-4 Phantom) fighters in 1962, known to them as the AIM-101.

Vietnam War

Vietnamwar in VietnamSecond Indochina War
The F-4 was used extensively during the Vietnam War.
Soviet crews fired Soviet-made surface-to-air missiles at U.S. F-4 Phantoms, which were shot down over Thanh Hóa in 1965.

Japan Air Self-Defense Force

JASDFJapan Air Self Defense ForceJapanese Air Self Defense Force
As of 2018, 60 years after its first flight, the F-4 remains in service with Iran, Japan, South Korea, Greece, and Turkey.