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F-4 Phantom II variants

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere

The McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II was built in a number of variants described below.

Two prototypes for the US Navy.
F4H-1F (F-4A)
Two-seat all-weather carrier-based fighter for the US Navy, J79-GE-2 and -2A engines with 16,100 lbf (71.6 kN) of afterburner thrust each. Redesignated F-4A in 1962; 47 built.
A small number of F-4As converted into two-seat training aircraft.
F4H-1 (F-4B)
Two-seat all-weather carrier-based fighter and ground-attack aircraft for the US Navy and Marine Corps. J79-GE-8A or -8B engines with 16,950 lbf (75.4 kN) of afterburner thrust each. Redesignated F-4B in 1962; 649 built.
F-4Bs converted into drone control aircraft.
One F-4B converted into an ECM training aircraft.
The redesignation of one F-4B for testing purposes.
F-4Bs converted into unmanned supersonic target drones; 7 converted.
F4H-1P (RF-4B)
Tactical reconnaissance version of F-4B for Marines, nose stretched 4 ft 9 in (1.4 m), smaller AN/APQ-99 radar. Three camera bays typically carried KS-87 forward oblique/vertical camera on Station 1, KA-87 low-altitude camera on Station 2, and KA-55A or KA-91 high-altitude panoramic camera on Station 3. Also carried AN/APQ-102 reconnaissance SLAR, AN/AAD-4 infrared reconnaissance system, and ALQ-126 ECM suite. Unlike RF-4C, cameras were on rotating mounts and could be aimed by the pilot. In 1975, modernized under Project SURE (Sensor Update and Refurbishment Effort); 46 built. Retired in 1990.
F-110A Spectre
The original US Air Force designation for the F-4C.
Two-seat all-weather tactical fighter, ground-attack version for the US Air Force; supported a wide spectrum of weapons including AIM-4 Falcon, AGM-12 Bullpup, and nuclear weapons; wider main wheel tires resulted in distinctive wing bulges; J79-GE-15 engines with provision for cartridge start; boom refueling instead of Navy's probe and drogue refueling; AN/APQ-100 radar; duplicated flight controls in the rear cockpit. The aircraft exceeded Mach 2 during its first flight on 27 May 1963; 583 built.
EF-4C Wild Weasel IV
F-4Cs converted into Wild Weasel ECM aircraft. Equipped with AN/APR-25 RHAWS, AN/APR-26 missile launch warning system, ER-142 ECM receiver, and AN/ALQ-119 external ECM pod. Armed with AGM-45 Shrike anti-radiation missiles and cluster bombs but unable to carry the AGM-78 Standard missile. Many survivors were reverted to F-4C.
All-weather tactical reconnaissance version for the US Air Force, AN/APQ-99 (later AN/APQ-172) radar. Equipped similar to RF-4B but with a wider choice of camera fits, including the gigantic HIAC-1 LOROP (Long Range Oblique Photography) camera capable of high-resolution images of objects 100 miles (160 km) away in a centerline pod. Many aircraft were refitted with a more spacious bulging streamlined nose. While usually unarmed, RF-4Cs retained the ability to carry a nuclear weapon on the centerline pylon. Modernized RF-4Cs extensively participated in the Desert Storm war; 505 built.
YRF-110A (YRF-4C)
Two prototypes were used in the development of the RF-4C reconnaissance version.
F-4C with updated avionics, AN/APQ-109 radar. First flight June 1965. Three USAF pilots became aces in F-4Ds; 825 built.
EF-4D Wild Weasel IV
F-4Ds converted into Wild Weasel ECM aircraft.
USAF version with an integral M61 Vulcan cannon in the elongated RF-4C nose, AN/APQ-120 radar with smaller cross-section to accommodate the cannon, J79-GE-17 engines with 17,900 lbf (79.379 kN) of afterburner thrust each. Late-series aircraft equipped with leading-edge slats to improve maneuverability at the expense of top speed under the Agile Eagle program. Starting with Block 53, aircraft added AGM-65 Maverick capability and smokeless J79-GE-17C or -17E engines. First flight 7 August 1965. The most numerous Phantom variant; 1,370 built.
Proposed single-seat simplified version of F-4E for German Luftwaffe; none built.
F-4E Kurnass 2000
Modernized Israeli F-4Es, AN/APG-76 radar, AGM-142 Popeye capability.
F-4E Peace Icarus 2000
Greek AF modernized F-4Es, AN/APG-65GY radar, AIM-120 AMRAAM capability, Litening targeting pod, modern A/G weapons capability.
F-4E Terminator 2020
Turkish AF F-4Es modernized by Israel, ELTA EL/M-2032 radar.
Remote-controlled target drone.
Two-seat all-weather air defence fighter version of F-4E, initially lacked ground attack capability. Built under licence in Japan, by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the Japan Air Self Defence Force; 140 built (138 by Mitsubishi).
F-4EJ Kai
Upgraded version of the F-4EJ with improved avionics, including AN/APG-66J pulse-doppler radar, and ground attack capability, including ASM-1 anti-ship missile.
Small number of F-4EJs were converted into ECM training aircraft.
Three Israeli F-4E modified for high-speed reconnaissance as a cheaper alternative to the ambitious F-4X. Fitted with a new nose containing the HIAC-1 LOROP long-range camera with a 66-in (168 cm) focal length as well as a vertical KS-87 camera. The aircraft had a false radome painted on the nose to resemble conventional F-4Es. The fate and service record of these aircraft is unknown.
Unarmed reconnaissance version for export only. Retrofitted to carry weapons by most customers. Several Luftwaffe aircraft were modified for ELINT missions under Peace Trout program; 149 built.
Two-seat all-weather tactical reconnaissance version for the Japanese Air Self Defence Force; 14 built.
RF-4EJ Kai
Upgraded version of the RF-4EJ with improved avionics, AN/APG-66J radar.
One of the original YRF-4C prototypes was converted into the YF-4E. The YF-4E was used in the development of the F-4E fighter as well as in fly-by-wire Precision Aircraft Control Technology (PACT) and Control Configured Vehicle (CCV) test programs.
F-4E for German Luftwaffe with simplified equipment, no Sparrow capability; 175 built.
Upgraded F-4F with AN/APG-65 radar and AIM-120 AMRAAM capability.
German trainer aircraft, unofficial designation.
US Navy version, 12 F-4Bs were fitted with the AN/ASW-21 data link digital communications system for automatic carrier landings, one shot down by enemy ground fire, the surviving 11 returned to F-4B configuration.
F-4G Wild Weasel V
F-4E converted to SEAD aircraft for the US Air Force. AN/APQ-120 radar, ability to carry AGM-45 Shrike, AGM-78 Standard, and AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missiles. Widely used during the Gulf War, Operation Provide Comfort, and Operation Southern Watch; 116 converted.
Remote-controlled target drone.
Designation not used to avoid confusion with the pre-1962 F4H.
Improved version for US Navy and Marines, J79-GE-10 engines with 17,844 lbf (79.374 kN) of afterburner thrust each, AN/APG-59 radar with look-down capability, larger main landing gear wheels resulting in wing bulges similar to F-4C, slatted tailplane, alierons drooped 16.5° when landing gear and flaps were deployed to decrease the landing speed, zero-zero ejection seats, expanded ground attack capability, no IRST sensor under the nose; 522 built.
Designation of 15 second-hand F-4J aircraft purchased by the Royal Air Force from the US Navy in 1984, upgraded to F-4S standard with some British equipment. RAF designation Phantom FGA.Mk 3.
One F-4J converted into a drone control aircraft.
Two F-4Js converted into ECM training aircraft.
Three F-4Bs were converted were into YF-4J prototypes. The YF-4Js were used in the development of the F-4J.
F-4J version for Fleet Air Arm, fit of the British Rolls-Royce Spey 202 turbofan engines required enlarged fuselage. Also used by the Royal Air Force under designation Phantom FG.Mk.1; 52 built.
Two prototypes, used in the development of the F-4K.
Designation applied to several proposals for an advanced version, including Model 98FOA with RR Spey turbofan engines and AIM-54 Phoenix missiles.
Tactical fighter, ground-attack, and reconnaissance aircraft for the Royal Air Force, RAF designation Phantom FGR.Mk.2, ordered after cancellation of the Hawker Siddeley P.1154. RR Spey turbofan engines; 118 built.
Two prototypes used in the development of the F-4M.
F-4B modernized under project Bee Line, the same aerodynamic improvements as F-4J, smokeless engines. First flight 4 June 1972; 228 converted.
F-4Ns converted into remote-controlled supersonic target drones.
F-4J modernized with smokeless engines, reinforced airframe, leading-edge slats for improved maneuverability; 302 converted.
F-4S converted into supersonic target drones.
Proposed air superiority-only fighter version; none built.
Proposed version with variable geometry wings; none built.
Proposed high-performance reconnaissance version with HIAC-1 LOROP camera for Israel developed under program Peace Jack in conjunction with General Dynamics. Water injection was projected to give the aircraft a top speed in excess of Mach 3 (over 2,000 mph (3,200 km/h) at high altitudes). The water would be contained in a pair of 2,500 US gal (9,600 l) conformal tanks on the sides of the fuselage spine. State Department became worried about developing an aircraft with performance similar to SR-71 Blackbird and offensive capability beyond anything in USAF inventory for a foreign customer and forbade its export. The aircraft was then modified to RF-4X with the camera in the nose which removed offensive capability. However, USAF withdrew from the project over concerns that a high-performance Phantom would jeopardize funding for F-15 Eagle. Without USAF financial support, Israel settled for a simpler and less expensive F-4E(S).
Boeing Super Phantom
A 1984 joint venture between Boeing and Pratt & Whitney for a Phantom variant with Pratt & Whitney PW1120 turbofan engines with a significant performance gain over J79 Phantoms. The aircraft would also have an 1,100 US gal (4,230 l) conformal fuel tank under the fuselage. Cancelled early in development.

The F-4 "Super Phantom" or F-4-2000, was demonstrated at the Paris Air Show in 1987. It could exceed Mach 1 without afterburners. McDonnell Douglas scuttled Kurnas 2000 development because it equaled the F/A-18C/D in performance and endangered any future sales of the F/A-18.