7 Reasons Why The F-4 Phantom II Is An All Time Legendary Multirole Fighter
Most of the time people argue about which fighter aircraft is the greatest one of all. If we consider votes by pilots about the best fighter, they might always vote for the ones they flew. There are many great fighter aircraft being built all around the world. But when we consider all the amazing things that F-4 Phantoms can do, it definitely is on top. Here’s why,
1. Air-to-air capability
The F-4 Phantom II was the first American fighter aircraft that used air-to-air missiles as its main offensive weapon. This ability is used by 3 US forces, the Air force, the Navy, and the Marine Corps. Outside of the United States, it was used by the air forces of Israel, Iran, and Turkey. Just the US Airforce had a record of 107 confirmed kills during the Vietnam war.
The air-to-air capability wasn’t the only role of the F-4 that helped in the Vietnam war. F-4’s bombing capability also played a huge role in that war. The F-4 could carry twice the normal bomb load of a B-17 bomber aircraft. Because of the combinations of different types of weapons that the F-4 could take to the war, it could do the things that most aircraft at that time couldn’t.
3. SAM suppression ability
The “Wild Weasel” F-4 fleet had a special task. They were assigned to bait the enemy SAM sites that lock into friendly aircraft. Then this special F-4 crew tracks the radar signal back to its source and they destroy those SAM sites with radar-guided air-to-ground missiles or bombs.
The RF-4C variant was an unarmed photographic reconnaissance aircraft of the Phantom. It has a longer more pointed nose than the general F-4 Phantoms which accommodates 3 camera stations. The abilities of this F-4 variant allowed to collect imagery information to take important military decisions.
5. Test and evaluation
The F-4 Phantom was used by NASA and various military squadrons for collecting data about supersonic flights and other important missions. The F-4A is also used for a biomedical monitoring program involving 1,000 flights NASA Flight Research Center.
6. Flight demonstration
The F-4 Phantom was used by the both US Navy Blue Angels and the US Air Force Thunderbirds for flight demonstrations in the late 60s and early ’70s. The rare cockpit of the F-4 was normally not used for demonstration flights. The F-4 Phantom was loud and fast and the crowd used to love it.
7. Target drone
After a great service, at the end of F-4 Phantom’s lives, they were used as drones for missile exercises and advanced testing. The following google image shows F-4s are stationed in the Arizona desert outside of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and if the need arises, these F-4s can return to service.