Air Weapons

McDonnell

F-4F Phantom II

Like many NATO countries, Germany quickly became interested in the McDonnell F-4 Phantom II as a replacement for the Luftwaffe's ageing F-104s in Jagdgeschwader (interceptor) wings, as well as the G.91 in Jagdbombergeschwader (fighter-bomber) wings. The Luftwaffe was initially interested in a single-seat version of the Phantom but in the end chose a lighter, simplified version of the existing F-4E variant, which became known as the F-4F. It had a significant number of German-made components including a license-built J79 engine made locally by MTU. However, it featured a downgraded radar and could not be equipped with Sparrow missiles which essentially left it without beyond-visual range (BVR) capability. In the fighter-bomber role, it could operate a variety of US and NATO ordinance but standoff capability was limited at first, though later it could be armed with Maverick missiles. The F-4F fleet was given numerous modernizations over its lifetime, notably the Improved Combat Efficiency (ICE) program that was designed to keep them viable pending the introduction of the Eurofighter. This upgrade allowed them to use the more advanced AMRAAM missile as well as a more powerful radar. ICE-modernized Phantoms continued to soldier on with the Luftwaffe well after the introduction of their replacement, the last being phased out of service only until 2013.

First flight of the F-4F (originally known as the F-4E(F)) took place on 18 May, 1973, with deliveries beginning later that year. Externally, the only difference with the F-4E were the unslotted stabilizers, though it retained the slatted wings found in later F-4Es. The F-4F/ICE is a vastly modified version which incorporates a more advanced AN/APG-65 radar as well as the capability of carrying AMRAAM missiles among other avionics improvments. ICE-upgraded Phantoms can be distinguished by their clear radomes, compared to the earlier black radomes. The Luftwaffe also obtained a large number of RF-4E reconnaissance aircraft.

F-4F Phantom II (Lw, JG 72 'Westfalen')
F-4F

Preceded by:

F-104 Starfighter (1958)

Related:

F-4 Phantom II (1961)

Succeeded by:

Typhoon (2003)

Datafile

DesignF-4FF-4F/ICE
NamePhantom IIPhantom II
TypeFighter-BomberFighter-Bomber
Year19731990
Crew22
Dimensions
Length19.20 m19.20 m
Height5.03 m5.03 m
Wing Span11.71 m11.71 m
Wing Area49.2 m²49.2 m²
Weight
Empty13,800 kg13,800 kg
Maximum28,000 kg28,000 kg
Wing Loading568.7 kg/m²568.7 kg/m²
Performance
SpeedMach 1.8Mach 1.8
Speed S/LMach 1.1Mach 1.1
Cruise Speed780 km/h780 km/h
Ceiling16,500 m16,500 m
Range1,150-3,180 km1,150-3,180 km
Powerplant
Engine2 x J79-MTU-17A
MTU
5,384 / 8,119 (+) kgf
2 x J79-MTU-17A
MTU
5,384 / 8,119 (+) kgf
Thrust/Weight0.710.71
Sensors
RadarAN/APQ-120
AN/APQ-65
Armament
Guns1 x 20-mm
M61A1 (640)
1 x 20-mm
M61A1 (640)
Payload5,600 kg5,600 kg
Hardpoints99
AA WeaponsAIM-9
AIM-9
AIM-120
AS WeaponsAGM-65
BL.755
Matra 250
Mk 82
AGM-65
BL.755
Matra 250
Mk 82
Production
Built175(110)
Total325

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