F-4J(UK) Phantom II

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This page is about the premium British jet fighter F-4J(UK) Phantom II. For the American version, see F-4J Phantom II. For other versions, see F-4 Phantom II (Family).
F-4J(UK) Phantom II
GarageImage F-4J(UK) Phantom II.jpg
StoreImage F-4J(UK) Phantom II 002.jpg
F-4J(UK) Phantom II
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Shortly after the Falklands War, the British Ministry of Defence decided to assign a dedicated air defence squadron to protect the islands from future attacks. However, this left a hole in the UK's mainland defence capabilities, and a decision was made to look for a surplus fighter until the Tornado F.3 could enter service. Both the F-14 and F-15 were considered, but seeing as those would cost more than intended for a short-term solution, the RAF instead opted for 15 upgraded ex-USN F-4Js, later known as the F-4J(UK)/Phantom F.3. These had maintained their General Electric J79-GE-108 engines and had largely adhered to the F-4J's original specifications but had undergone additional wiring to allow the carriage of British Skyflash missiles and the Telescopic Sighting System for visual identification of targets. The official rollout of the first complete F-4J(UK) was at North Island on August 10, 1984, and it was assigned to No. 74 Squadron RAF 'Tiger Squadron' at RAF Wattisham. The RAF received several batches of F-4J(UK)s, each one undergoing a Tiger Trial. This was a transatlantic flight from San Diego to Goose Bay, Canada, and then another flight to the UK with the help of tanker aircraft for aerial refueling. The F-4J(UK) served as a Quick Reaction Force for the RAF from 1984 to mid-1991, when they were replaced by the Tornado F.3.

The F-4J(UK) Phantom II was introduced in Update "Apex Predators". It is similar to its American counterpart, the F-4J, in the way it plays. However, there are some notable differences between the two aircraft. Firstly, it lacks AIM-7F missiles, being instead equipped with the traditional Skyflash (DF) missiles of British Phantom models. It also lacks a Helmet-Mounted Display (HMD) which makes it harder to acquire targets. Still, even with those minor drawbacks, it can hold its own against most enemies if you adjust your playstyle accordingly. Staying low, trying to separate out your targets, and using your superior acceleration and energy retention to your advantage are some of the key tactics for this plane.

General info

Flight performance

Arrestor gear
Accelerates braking by grabbing the brake cable on the deck of the aircraft carrier
Air brakes
Allows you to dramatically reduce the flight speed by releasing special flaps
Drogue parachute
Reduces braking distance when landing on any runway
Max speed
at 12 192 m2 140 km/h
Turn time26 s
Max altitude16 000 m
Engine2 х General Electric J79-GE-10
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight24 t

Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.

Characteristics Max speed
(km/h at _,___ m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock ___ ___ 16000 __._ __._ __._ __._ ___
Upgraded ___ ___ __._ __._ __._ __._


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
Combat Take-off Landing + -
1458 463 - 618 463 ~11 ~4
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 810 < 750 < 700 -

Engine performance

Engine Aircraft mass
Engine name Number Basic mass Wing loading (full fuel)
General Electric J79-GE-10 2 14,205 kg 408 kg/m2
Engine characteristics Mass with fuel (no weapons load) Max Gross
Weight (each) Type 9m fuel 20m fuel 30m fuel
1,750 kg Afterburning axial-flow turbojet 15,964 kg 18,066 kg 20,070 kg 26,478 kg
Maximum engine thrust @ 0 m (RB/SB) Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)
Condition 100% WEP 9m fuel 20m fuel 30m fuel MGW
Stationary 5,250 kgf 8,159 kgf 1.02 0.90 0.81 0.61
Optimal 5,311 kgf
(1,458 km/h)
10,361 kgf
(1,400 km/h)
1.30 1.15 1.03 0.78

Survivability and armour

Aircraft countermeasures to distract IR and radar-guided missiles and also AA radar
Crew2 people
Speed of destruction
Structural1 458 km/h
Gear463 km/h

Examine the survivability of the aircraft. Note how vulnerable the structure is and how secure the pilot is, whether the fuel tanks are armoured, etc. Describe the armour, if there is any, and also mention the vulnerability of other critical aircraft systems.

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB1 976 Sl icon.png
RB5 979 Sl icon.png
SB6 411 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts1 350 000 Sl icon.png
Aces3 000 Ge icon.png
Research Aces2 280 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 100 / 310 / 600 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 238 / 238 / 238 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods jet compressor.png
Mods booster.png
New boosters
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Mods jet engine.png
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Mods g suit.png
Mods armor frame.png
Mods armor cover.png
Mods jet engine extinguisher.png
Mods ammo.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods heli false thermal targets.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mk.N1 540lb
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods air to air missile.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
1000 LB
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods air to air midrange missile.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
Matra SNEB
Mods air to air midrange missile.png


Ballistic Computer
CCIP (Guns) CCIP (Rockets) CCIP (Bombs) CCRP (Bombs)
alt={{{alt}}} alt={{{alt}}} alt={{{alt}}} alt={{{alt}}}

Offensive armament

The F-4J(UK) Phantom II is armed with:

  • A choice between two presets:
    • Without offensive armament
    • 60 x countermeasures

Suspended armament

The F-4J(UK) Phantom II can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Hardpoints F-4C Phantom II.png
20 mm GAU-4 cannons (1,200 rpg) 1
540 lb Mk.M2 bombs 2 3 3 3 2
1,000 lb H.E. M.C. Mk.13 bombs 2 2 3 2 2
1,000 lb H.E. M.C. Mk.13 No.117 bombs 2 2 3 2 2
SNEB type 23 rockets 36 54 54 54 36
AIM-7E Sparrow missiles 1 1 1 1
AIM-9G Sidewinder missiles 2 2
Skyflash missiles 1 1 1 1
600 gal drop tanks 1
Maximum permissible weight imbalance: 1,500 kg
Default weapon presets
  • 1 x 20 mm GAU-4 cannon (1,200 rpg)
  • 1 x 600 gal drop tank
  • 4 x AIM-9G Sidewinder missiles
  • 4 x AIM-7E Sparrow missiles
  • 4 x Skyflash missiles
  • 234 x SNEB type 23 rockets
  • 11 x 1,000 lb H.E. M.C. Mk.13 bombs (11,000 lb total)
  • 11 x 1,000 lb H.E. M.C. Mk.13 No.117 bombs (11,000 lb total)
  • 13 x 540 lb Mk.M2 bombs (7,020 lb total)
  • 1 x 20 mm GAU-4 cannon + 4 x AIM-9G Sidewinder missiles + 4 x AIM-7E Sparrow missiles
  • 1 x 20 mm GAU-4 cannon + 4 x AIM-9G Sidewinder missiles + 4 x Skyflash missiles
  • 1 x 20 mm GAU-4 cannon + 4 x AIM-9G Sidewinder missiles + 4 x AIM-7E Sparrow missiles + 10 x 540 lb Mk.M2 bombs (5,400 lb total)
  • 1 x 20 mm GAU-4 cannon + 4 x AIM-9G Sidewinder missiles + 4 x Skyflash missiles + 8 x 1,000 lb H.E. M.C. Mk.13 bombs (8,000 lb total)
  • 1 x 20 mm GAU-4 cannon + 4 x AIM-9G Sidewinder missiles + 4 x Skyflash missiles + 180 x SNEB type 23 rockets

Usage in battles

The F-4J (UK) is a great aircraft but will feel out of place to new players. The main attraction to any Phantom is its missiles, however Skyflash missiles do not complement the F-4J(UK)'s gameplay. Being essentially an improved AIM-7E-2 Sparrow, the Skyflash does not have the long range performance of the AIM-7F Sparrow nor AIM-7M Sparrow (Skyflash with a 50 km launch range compared to AIM-7F's 100 km launch range). Not to mention you cannot roll out of the way of these high performance SARH missiles, forcing you to dump your lock and go 90° to attempt to force the missiles to overlead the other direction. In terms of raw G performance however, the Skyflash will absolutely pull all 25 Gs to hit a target (especially at short range) if you can maintain a radar lock. As a dogfight missile, the Skyflash starts pulling "off the rail", and will start pulling as soon as it clears the plane. Don't be afraid to fire at a non maneuvering target just within 2 kilometers (in a direct head on engagement).

As with all F-4s, sharp turns will quickly deplete your energy and speed. Made worse by the lack of a maneuvering speed, the F-4J(UK) will lose speed in nearly every turn at any speed. The F-4J(UK) is a heavy plane and will take an unacceptable (in terms of dodging missiles) amount of time to regain its speed in order to dodge another. Limit your time in open air and on the enemy's radar scopes if at all possible. Stay behind a teammate or behind the pack in general.

The AIM-9G Sidewinder is a good missile, but its relatively low G overload becomes a serious issue in dogfights. The AIM-9G will take a second to begin tracking and takes even longer to start pulling. A 3-4 km launch with a positive closure rate will usually be your best shot of hitting the target. The 18 G maximum overload is insufficient for anymore than a flat tail chase and the overload is only enough to allow the missile to maintain lock while leading a target. The AIM-9G will nearly always go for flares as there is nearly no flare resistance. Having a long burn time, the AIM-9G does have an exceptional range for an IR missile. The trade off is that it will burn nearly all the way to the target and have an exceptionally long boost/sustain phase, making the missile very easy to detect. Overall the AIM-9G is not a dogfight missile and will not fill in all the gaps left by the Skyflash.

The AN/APG-59 radar on the F-4J(UK) is a very average pulse-Doppler radar. Although you can theoretically get a radar lock on a target that is moving away from you at less that 540 km/h, the SARH missiles will have a difficult time getting a lock even if the radar is locked. Other than that the PD mode performs as you would expect, being especially potent in a head-on engagement.

If you are using this plane to grind out the UK tech tree, always bring at least 8 x 1,000 lb bombs. You will lose turn performance, however, your playstyle shouldn't change too much. the F-4J(UK) already is not competitive with other planes at this BR (in terms of turning performance) so when entering the merge, try and pick out a target you know has poor/no decent radar missiles. Other than that just take a few seconds to hit a base before turning back to reengage. Don't be afraid to Skyflash an enemy who is blocking your path to a base.

This combination of radar and missile leaves much to be desired and locks you into a less than optimal playstyle. The usual strategy is to go for head-on attacks to negate your lacklustre manoeuvrability and make the most out of your decent radar and missiles. But keep in mind you are almost always bringing a pistol to a long range sniper range. A competent opponent can easily roll out of the way of your missile and even then still might maintain a radar lock long enough to win the joust. The F-4J(UK) doesn't manoeuvre well enough to make a reliable last minute dodge so it is advisable to think ahead two steps when you anticipate a SARH joust. One thing you might want to get used to is pushing your nose down when dodging all aspect IR missiles. As your countermeasure pods fire directly upwards. The F-4J(UK) suffers from wing rip problems when pulling negative Gs so you will need to work out a techniques that works for you.

The best way to dodge long-mid range SARH shots and remain in position for the merge is to use hills and terrain features. The Phantom simply lacks the performance to pull multiple 90° turns and still be in a firing position for the merge. This is doubly important with any sort of bombload as you may find yourself struggling to notch within visual range distances (>20 km). If you miss the merge you will find yourself at the centre of a furball, attempting to outmanoeuvre significantly more agile and/or better-performing aircraft with much higher performance. Entering a fight at anything less than Mach 1 leaves you open to getting jumped by dedicated dogfighters without a clear way to escape.

Flying at treetop level will disrupt a radar lock by making the radar believe you are slightly lower than where you are (mistakes the ground below as part of the aircraft). This provides a safety from top-down attacks while still allowing you to maintain course for your own down-up SARH shots into the open sky.

Pros and cons


  • The F-4J(UK) does not lock up at high speed
  • Sturdy airframe: hard to overspeed and hard to rip wings in positive G turns
  • Effective air-to-air Skyflash missiles
  • Can take 8 missiles without sacrificing bomb load
  • Has access to a pulse doppler radar for "look-down, shoot-down" performance
  • Heavy and effective bomb load for bombing either bases or ground targets


  • Doesn't turn very well, worse so with suspended weaponry like gunpods
  • Wings rip easily in negative G manoeuvres
  • Poor nose authority
  • Skyflash missiles have relatively short range and can be kinetically dodged
  • Skyflash missiles also have a tendency to not detonate or lose track at the last second
  • AIM-9Gs fare poorly in dogfights and are easy to counter with flares


In 1984, following the deployment of a squadron of Phantoms to the Falkland Islands, the UK government decided that the gap this left in the UK air defences needed to be filled. They therefore sought to purchase another squadron of Phantoms, but as the ones already in RAF service were a special production batch it would not be possible to have the new ones be identical. It was decided that 15 Phantoms would be obtained from ex-USN F-4Js that were in storage. The F-4J was chosen as it was the closest to the current RAF Phantoms.

Following an extensive refurbishment at NAS North Island, where the Phantoms were brought to nearly F-4S standard (lacking leading-edge slats and a Helmet Gun Sight) the planes were delivered to the UK.

The major difference between the F-4J(UK) and the other UK operated Phantoms was the different engines, with the F-4J(UK) retaining the General Electric J79-10B turbojet, instead of the Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan. Upon initial delivery, the Skyflash AAM and SUU-23A gun pod were not compatible, however this was quickly rectified. Despite modifications to allow them to integrate with the other Phantoms, the F-4J(UK)s retained the vast bulk of their American equipment, even requiring the crews to use American helmets.

Although the new Phantoms were technically designated F.3, they were generally referred to as the F-4J(UK) to avoid confusion with the in service Tornado F.3.

Assigned to 74 Squadron at RAF Wattisham, they stood up in October 1984, 2 months after their first flight. Remaining in service through the transition to Tornado and the F-4M Squadrons being replaced with Tornados, the F-4J(UK) was retired in January 1991.



See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

McDonnell Aircraft Corporation
Jet Fighters  F2H-2 · F3H-2
  F-4C Phantom II · F-4E Phantom II · F-4J Phantom II · F-4S Phantom II
Aircraft  ◄F-4F Early · ◄F-4F · Phantom FG.1 · Phantom FGR.2 · F-4J(UK) Phantom II · F-4EJ Phantom II · F-4EJ ADTW · Kurnass · Kurnass 2000
  Baz · F-15J
  ▄AV-8B Plus
Helicopters  AH-6M · Lahatut
  The McDonnell Aircraft Corporation merged with Douglas Aircraft Company in 1967 to form McDonnell Douglas.
See Also  Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Britain jet aircraft
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SEPECAT  Jaguar GR.1 · Jaguar GR.1A · Jaguar IS
Supermarine  Attacker FB 1 · Attacker FB.2 · Scimitar F Mk.1 · Swift F.1 · Swift F.7
Foreign  Phantom FG.1 (USA) · Phantom FGR.2 (USA) · F-4J(UK) Phantom II (USA)
  JAS39C (Sweden)

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