F-4E Phantom II
|This page is about the American jet fighter F-4E Phantom II. For other versions, see F-4 Phantom II (Family).|
The F-4E Phantom II is a rank VI American jet fighter with a battle rating of 10.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.97 "Viking Fury". This twin-engine aircraft is powered by two General Electric J79-GE-17 jets, each producing an incredible 8,010 kgf on maximum afterburner. This multi-role vehicle is among the top fighter jets in the game and a supremely capable ground attacker.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 12,192 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear||Drogue chute|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 810||< 750||< 700||N/A|
|Engine name||Number||Wing loading (full fuel)|
|General Electric J79-GE-17||2||14,115 kg||406 kg/m2|
|Engine characteristics||Mass with fuel (no weapons load)|| Max Takeoff|
|Weight (each)||Type||8m fuel||20m fuel||26m fuel|
|1,750 kg||Afterburning axial-flow turbojet||15,919 kg||18,626 kg||19,979 kg||24,000 kg|
|Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)|
|Condition||100%||WEP||8m fuel||20m fuel||26m fuel||MTOW|
|Stationary||5,200 kgf||8,008 kgf||1.01||0.86||0.80||0.67|
|Optimal|| 5,200 kgf
| 9,610 kgf
Survivability and armour
The survivability features of the F-4E Phantom II have grown compared to its predecessor with an armour plate and missile countermeasures attached.
By this stage in the high-rank battles, all the fuel tanks are self-sealing. While this will assist with any fuel tank punctures from machine gun calibre weapons, the presence of fast-firing autocannons and missiles mean that these self-sealing tanks are only an accessory to the overall survival of the aircraft.
The addition of an armour plate is a minor benefit as it is only an 8.5 mm steel plate just below the forward fuel tank in the fuselage. This is only thick enough to block a glancing shot to the fuselage. Its most effective use seems to when the F-4E Phantom II as it is pulling up from an attack run, as it is in that angle where the armour plate can potentially block any shot threatening the fuselage fuel tanks and engine. However, considering the small size it is made up of and the large plane overall, this armour plate should not be relied upon for the overall survival of the aircraft.
The biggest change from previous version is the counter measure flares, which are greatly useful at deterring incoming infrared-homing missiles like the Sidewinders or R-60s. To utilise the flares, one must turn off their engine afterburners to eliminate that as a significant source of heat, deploy the flares in a suitable manner, then bank away from the flares to that the missile lock onto the remaining heat source rather than the plane's engine.
A survivability feature shared with its predecessor is the Radar Warning Receiver (RWR). The RWR will ping the player in the source of any incoming radar scans, and will also notify if the radar source have achieved a lock-on with the player. Keep an eye on this as it may signify to the player that an enemy semi-active radar homing missile may be launched soon and evasive actions should be taken.
Modifications and economy
The F-4E Phantom II is armed with:
- 1 x 20 mm M61 cannon, chin-mounted (640 rpg)
Due to this cannon's high rate of fire, trigger discipline is a must.
(ammunition: 3 600 rounds)
(ammunition: 1 200 rounds)
The F-4E Phantom II can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 3 x 20 mm M61 cannons (1,200 rpg = 3,600 total)
- 24 x 500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs (12,000 lb total)
- 16 x 750 lb M117 cone 45 bombs (12,000 lb total)
- 11 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs (11,000 lb total)
- 3 x 2,000 lb LDGP Mk 84 bombs (6,000 lb total)
- 2 x AGM-12C Bullpup missiles
- 285 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
- 60 x Zuni Mk32 Mod 0 ATAP rockets
- 4 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles
- 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles
- 18 x 500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs + 4 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles (9,000 lb total)
- 18 x 500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs + 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles (9,000 lb total)
- 10 x 750 lb M117 cone 45 bombs + 4 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles (7,500 lb total)
- 10 x 750 lb M117 cone 45 bombs + 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles (7,500 lb total)
- 7 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs + 4 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles (7,000 lb total)
- 7 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs + 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles (7,000 lb total)
- 3 x 2,000 lb LDGP Mk 84 bombs + 4 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles (6,000 lb total)
- 3 x 2,000 lb LDGP Mk 84 bombs + 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles (6,000 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles + 171 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
- 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles + 171 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
- 4 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles + 36 x Zuni Mk32 Mod 0 ATAP rockets
- 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles + 36 x Zuni Mk32 Mod 0 ATAP rockets
- 4 x AIM-7E Sparrow missiles + 1 x 20 mm M61 cannon (1,200 rpg)
- 4 x AIM-7E Sparrow missiles + 4 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles
- 4 x AIM-7E Sparrow missiles + 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles
- 4 x AIM-7E Sparrow missiles + 24 x 500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs (12,000 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-7E Sparrow missiles + 16 x 750 lb M117 cone 45 bombs (12,000 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-7E Sparrow missiles + 11 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs (11,000 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-7E Sparrow missiles + 4 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles + 18 x 500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs (9,000 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-7E Sparrow missiles + 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles + 18 x 500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs (9,000 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-7E Sparrow missiles + 4 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles + 10 x 750 lb M117 cone 45 bombs (7,500 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-7E Sparrow missiles + 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles + 10 x 750 lb M117 cone 45 bombs (7,500 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-7E Sparrow missiles + 4 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles + 7 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs (7,000 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-7E Sparrow missiles + 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles + 7 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs (7,000 lb total)
Usage in battles
The F-4E Phantom II is well-suited for any in-game situation. For attacking ground targets, the plane is armed with an assortment of bombs and rockets, and against air targets, players may employ the vehicle's deadly air-to-air missiles and frontal cannon. If desired, three externally-mounted gunpods may be equipped, but note that these may not be useful in certain situations. Although they will undoubtedly increase the vehicle's destructive capabilities, they also appreciably hinder flight performance through induced drag. In many situations, one front-facing cannon is all that is required to dispatch an opponent aircraft. As for the missiles, the ones used by this plane are among the best in the game, comparable to the R-60 missiles equipped by the MiG-21MF (Germany) and the MiG-21SMT. The AIM-9J missiles are most effective when fired from between 1 to 3 km away from the target. Any closer and they will struggle to track and likely veer off target for a miss.
The F-4E has one of the highest rates of climb out of any vehicle in the game. This is however where most of its performance advantages end. Due to its weight, the Phantom has rather mediocre acceleration, and not the best top speed. It is not advised to dogfight anything other than Starfighters and other Phantom variants, as the F-4 has a very poor turn rate. Although the aircraft has better energy retention than most of its opponents, it still bleeds considerable amounts of speed while turning, which can't be regained very quickly due to the aircraft heavy weight. It also performs quite poorly at low speeds, which is also caused by its weight.
In air realistic battles, it is recommended to take a balanced fuel load of 20 or 30 minutes, depending on how aggressive you fly. The most useful Air RB armament for the F-4E are the 4 AIM-9Js and 4 AIM-7Es. The best strategy is to accelerate to a speed of roughly 900-1100km/h and then zoom climb to altitude (5km or higher), where the pilot should accelerate to the highest speed possible. Lock on to targets with your radar and use your Sparrows to shoot down enemy aircraft when in range. Sparrows should ideally be launched above Mach 1 to take maximum advantage of their range and manoeuvrability. After using up all your sparrows, start using your AIM-9J's at targets below you. The missile will have much easier time following a target which is below it, simply due to gravity helping the missile keep its speed. It is important to note that because of its poor flight characteristics, the Phantom will struggle in one-on-one fights, making it vital to keep your teammates around. The Phantom should target enemies turnfighting its friendlies, as not only the enemy may be distracted and slow, but it provides you a chance to save your teammate, who in turn may down another enemy chasing you later in the match.
Dogfighting should be avoided as much as possible. The Phantom was designed around missiles, so they will naturally be your main way of getting kills, with the gun being a backup weapon for opportune targets. Try to avoid getting into dogfights with MiGs, since most of them will easily be able to outturn and out accelerate you.
- Notable Air RB enemies include
- MiG-21MF and SMT, which will easily outturn all but the lightest fuel loads with full flaps on an F-4.
- MiG-21bis, which can use its amazing acceleration to catch you in a matter of seconds and evade missiles with flares.
- J35 Draken, which is faster than you by 100km/h and more at low altitudes, and will outmanoeuvre any other aircraft.
- Mirage, which is armed with two of the best infrared missiles in the game, the R.550 Magic, and a long-range radar-guided missile with similar performance to the AIM-7.
- FGR.2, which can out accelerate and outrun you, armed with 4 longer-ranged AIM-9Ds, while also having flares.
Pros and cons
- AIM-9J and AIM-7E air-to-air missiles are among the best in the game
- Can carry up to eight missiles, with up to four AIM-9Js and four AIM-7Es
- Equipped with flares for evading enemy missiles
- A wide range of suspended armaments, suitable for any play-style
- Deadly frontal armament with high burst mass is practically guaranteed to critically damage an enemy aircraft if hit
- Makes use of a ballistic computer for assisting in the aim of cannons, rockets, and bombs
- Easily and frequently rips wings, especially when doing negative G manoeuvres or rolls
- Limited ammunition in the frontally-mounted cannon
- Large target for aircraft and AA alike
- The weight of the aircraft makes it have a lower turn rate
- Two engines make for a large heat signature, making it harder to dodge missiles
- Rate of climb suffers immensely when carrying large amounts of ordinance.
The F-4E was initially designed as an incremental upgrade to the standard F-4C airframe used by the US Air Force. The aircraft carried a new radar in a redesigned radome, and more importantly, an internal M61 Cannon mounted in the mose. As well, later-production aircraft featured the Agile Eagle upgrade, which gave the Phantom leading edge slats which improved manuveruability at the expense of top speed. The addition of an internal cannon was a highly anticipated upgrade, as it fixed a problem that F-4C squadrons faced when operating over Vietnam.
The first F-4Es entered service in the 1960s and were dispatched to serve in Vietnam, where they complemented the existing inventories of F-4C and D variant aircraft. The aircraft type was credited with 21 kills in Vietnam, most of which were achieved using the AIM-7E-2 'Dogfight Sparrow'. Several pilots achieved Ace status while flying the F-4 in Vietnam, including Charles B. DeBellevue, who was the highest-scoring American ace in Vietnam. The F-4 went on to form the backbone of the US fighter force for the bulk of the 1960s and 70s. As well, F-4E was flown by the USAF Thunderbirds Demonstration Team between 1969 and 1974. The large, noisy Phantom performed around the world until 1974, when rising fuel costs forced the Thunderbirds to convert to the smaller T-38 Talon.
The F-4E was exported to a variety of countries. Israel was the largest foreign user of the F-4 Phantom, having purchased 124 F-4 Phantoms from the United States betwen 1971 and 1974; the Israelis were credited with at least 115 kills using the F-4 Phantom during various conflicts. As well, Germany and Japan both procured modified versions of the F-4E, being the F-4F and F-4EJ, respectively. Other notable foreign users of the F-4E include Australia (24 aircraft), Egypt (35 aircraft), Greece (34 aircraft), and Turkey (40 aircraft).
During service, the Phantom gained a number of nicknames, including "Rhino" (referencing its titanium construction and long nose), "Double-Ugly", and even "The world's largest distributor of MiG Parts", referencing the 277 MiGs downed by the Phantom during various conflicts. The USAF retired the aircraft in 1996, and the aircraft was used as a target drone until 2016. The aircraft remains in service with Iran, Japan, South Korea, Greece and Turkey, 62 years after its maiden flight.
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
|McDonnell Aircraft Corporation|
|Jet Fighters||F2H-2 · F3H-2|
|F-4C Phantom II · F-4E Phantom II|
|Export / License||F-4EJ Phantom II · Phantom FG.1 · Phantom FGR.2|
|The McDonnell Aircraft Corporation merged with Douglas Aircraft Company in 1967 to form McDonnell Douglas.|
|See Also||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries|
|USA jet aircraft|
|AV-8||AV-8A · AV-8C|
|F-4||F-4C Phantom II · F-4E Phantom II|
|F-80||F-80A-5 · F-80C-10|
|F-84||F-84B-26 · F-84F · F-84G-21-RE|
|F-86||F-86A-5 · F-86F-25 · F-86F-2 · F-86F-35|
|F-89||F-89B · F-89D|
|F-104||F-104A · F-104C|
|F9F||F9F-2 · F9F-5 · F9F-8|
|FJ-4||FJ-4B · FJ-4B VMF-232|
|Other||P-59A · F3D-1 · F2H-2 · F3H-2 · F11F-1 · F-100D|
|A-4||A-4B · A-4E Early|
|B-57||B-57A · B-57B|