The F-4F Phantom II is a rank VII German jet fighter with a battle rating of 11.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Red Skies". A dreaded sight for aircraft and ground vehicles alike, the F-4F Phantom II provides a strong air superiority fighter and supremely potent ground attacker to German pilots.
Equipped with twin MTU Aero J79-MTU-17A engines (licensed copies of the F-4E's engines), each providing 8010 kgf of thrust when spaded, F-4F provides solid performance at any altitude.
While not as fast a climber as the F-104G, it can still climb incredibly well. Its acceleration is above average thanks to its twin engines.
F-4F also has incredible roll rate and thanks to its "Agile Eagle" wing slats and all-flying tail, it can also pull high-G manoeuvres without any issues.
However, pilots should be aware, that while the newfound agility of this Phantom might tempt them to dogfight, they should still stick to Boom'n'Zoom tactics as the F-4F is heavy, and any prolonged turning will bleed a lot of speed - and a slow jet is a dead jet.
|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)|
|MTU Aero Engines J79-MTU-17A||2||14,375 kg||398 kg/m2|
|Engine characteristics||Mass with fuel (no weapons load)|| Max Takeoff|
|Weight (each)||Type||8m fuel||20m fuel||27m fuel|
|1,724 kg||Afterburning axial-flow turbojet||15,941 kg||18,196 kg||19,595 kg||24,000 kg|
|Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)|
|Condition||100%||WEP||8m fuel||20m fuel||27m fuel||MTOW|
|Stationary||5,200 kgf||8,008 kgf||1.00||0.88||0.82||0.67|
|Optimal|| 5,200 kgf
| 10,170 kgf
Survivability and armour
In terms of armour, there is no armoured glass in the cockpit of the F-4F, nor any relevant armour protecting any crucial part of the plane. There is an 8.5 mm thick steel plate just below the forward fuel tank of the plane, but due to its size relative to the size of the plane, it might as well not be there at all.
All fuel tanks are self-sealing, but this is pretty much standard at this battle rating. Pilots should note that right behind the cockpit, the middle and back section of the plane is littered with modules - fuel tanks, engines, and control surface controls are all tightly packed together and thus any hit to this part of the plane will cause critical damage to at least one component.
The F-4F is equipped with a Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) from the get go and can unlock a countermeasures launcher as a tier I modification (unlike the F-4F Early).
Countermeasures are either Flares or Chaff. Flares are crucial to defeating IR guided missiles, while Chaff confuses enemy radars. Pilots should note that since F-4F is equipped with two engines, its heat signature is enormous, especially with afterburner active; thus they need to turn afterburner off in order to successfully evade IR missile.
RWR issues a warning to the pilot when it detects active radar pulsing towards the player; this will be heard as beeps. It also warns pilots when their plane gets "radar locked" by continuous tone. It also displays the approximate position of active radar relative to the plane and highlights radar that achieved "radar lock".
Modifications and economy
Pilots should start researching countermeasures from the get go, since it can be almost impossible to dodge advanced missiles such as Matra Magics without them. After that, pilots' focus should be on getting AIM-9Js, as those are F-4F strongest missiles and best weapon against enemy planes.
Order of modifications:
Countermeasures > AIM-9B FGW.2 > New boosters > AIM-9E > G-suit > Wings repair > AIM-9J
|CCIP (Guns)||CCIP (Rockets)||CCIP (Bombs)||CCRP (Bombs)|
The F-4F is armed with:
- 1 x 20 mm M61 cannon, chin-mounted (640 rpg)
M61 is an excellent cannon at its rank, only disadvantages being the spool-up time and somewhat limited ammo count relative to rate of fire.
Armed with anti-air belts for Air RB, even a short connecting burst will be fatal to any enemy aircraft.
The cannon excels even in Ground RB equipped with armour-piercing belts, giving it 53 mm of penetration, which is enough to get through most SPAAs and light tanks armour and can even pierce the roofs and engine decks of MBTs such as T-90A.
With its extremely high rate of fire, trigger discipline is a must.
(ammunition: 2 400 rounds)
(ammunition: 2 400 rounds)
(ammunition: 2 400 rounds)
(ammunition: 2 400 rounds)
The F-4F can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 2 x AIM-9B FGW.2 Sidewinder missiles
- 2 x 20 mm M61 cannons (1,200 rpg = 2,400 total)
- 2 x 20 mm M61 cannons + 4 x AIM-9B FGW.2 Sidewinder missiles
- 2 x 20 mm M61 cannons + 4 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles
- 2 x 20 mm M61 cannons + 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles
- 285 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
- 60 x Zuni Mk32 Mod 0 ATAP rockets
- 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)
- 4 x AIM-9B FGW.2 Sidewinder missiles
- 4 x AIM-9B FGW.2 Sidewinder missiles + 171 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
- 4 x AIM-9B FGW.2 Sidewinder missiles + 36 x Zuni Mk32 Mod 0 ATAP rockets
- 4 x AIM-9B FGW.2 Sidewinder missiles + 18 x 500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs (9,000 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-9B FGW.2 Sidewinder missiles + 10 x 750 lb M117 cone 45 bombs (7,500 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-9B FGW.2 Sidewinder missiles + 7 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs (7,000 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-9B FGW.2 Sidewinder missiles + 3 x 2,000 lb LDGP Mk 84 bombs (6,000 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles
- 4 x AIM-9E 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-9E Sidewinder missiles + 18 x 500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs (9,000 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles + 10 x 750 lb M117 cone 45 bombs (7,500 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles + 7 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs (7,000 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles + 3 x 2,000 lb LDGP Mk 84 bombs (6,000 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles
- 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles + 171 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
- 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles + 36 x Zuni Mk32 Mod 0 ATAP rockets
- 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles + 18 x 500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs (9,000 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles + 10 x 750 lb M117 cone 45 bombs (7,500 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles + 7 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs (7,000 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles + 3 x 2,000 lb LDGP Mk 84 bombs (6,000 lb total)
- 2 x AGM-65B missiles
- 2 x AGM-65B missiles + 4 x AIM-9B FGW.2 Sidewinder missiles
- 2 x AGM-65B missiles + 4 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles
- 2 x AGM-65B missiles + 4 x AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles
M61 gunpods - additional gunpods with M61 cannons, providing 1,200 rounds per gun. These basically allow pilot to put a wall of lead between their plane and the enemy, however, they severely hamper flight performance.
AIM-9B FGW.2 - Bravo version are F-4F stock missiles, should be used only until better options become available, as they are obsolete at this BR.
AIM-9E - First upgraded missiles available to F-4F, Echo Sidewinders provide much needed performance boost over the AIM-9B. Better speed, better range and wider seeker window allow Es to hit more reliably. Still, they retain its predecessor's poor G limit and should be used only as stop gap solution.
AIM-9J - Final upgrade available to F-4F, AIM-9Js provide excellent performance and are the best Sidewinders available to German pilots. They can pull twice the G limit of its predecessors, are resistant to flares, and can be radar-slaved (which helps in high traffic airspace or when leading a target). These bad boys should be the pilot's weapons of choice for engaging air targets.
As F-4F is equipped with a ballistic computer, coupled with its ability to equip massive amounts of ordnance, F-4F can become an extremely potent ground attacker with any ground attack payload.
FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets - Mighty Mouse rockets provide solid performance against ground targets. Sporting 290 mm of penetration, these can easily get through roof armour of most vehicles in-game, though some ERA equipped tanks can survive a few hits. While not having enough explosive mass to score kills with indirect hits, the ballistic computer can help with their aiming, and as F-4F can equip up to 285 of them, pilots can easily compensate accuracy with quantity.
Zuni Mk32 Mod 0 ATAP rockets - Basically Mighty Mouse rockets on steroids, Zunis are an anti-everything tool. Their HEAT warhead provides up to 457 mm of penetration and thanks to their explosive mass equivalent to 8.91 kg of TNT, they can severely damage light targets with indirect hits.
AGM-65B missiles - Unique to the F-4F (compared to other German planes) are AGM-65Bs, more commonly known as Mavericks. These are fire and forget anti-tank missiles with TV guidance and a maximum range of 6 km. Their warheads can penetrate up to 830 mm of armour. As they are fire and forget, they are great to use in contested airspace when compared to bombs, though F-4F can carry only 2 of them at once.
Bombs - F-4F, being equipped with a ballistic computer, turns any bomb payload into a much more viable option. Turning on the ballistic computer allows pilot to use arcade-style crosshairs, so any pilot is capable of hitting ground targets with laser accuracy.
F-4F is capable of carrying up to 24 x 500 lb bombs and these are dropped individually, allowing the player in theory to achieve a whopping 24 kills per payload, thus completely wiping the enemy team from existence (in practice however, there will be enemy AA units, and F-4F carrying all that ordnance practically becomes a rock with wings). All bombs carried by F-4F are viable, so it is up to the pilot's personal preferences.
Usage in battles
Most air-to-air combat in ground battles happens inside cannon range; thus it is not recommended to take Sidewinders to ground battles, and focus purely on CAS.
As stated above, the F-4F is an extremely potent ground attacker. Since there are currently only two AA vehicles armed with IR missiles (PGZ04A and Type 93) in-game, pilots should prioritise chaff when picking up countermeasures. Chaff helps with confusing enemy search and tracking radars, increasing probability of miss and thus increasing F-4F survivability.
Flying high above the battlefield is ill-advised, as this approach puts pilots in range of most enemy SAMs.
Radar needs an unobstructed line of sight to work properly, so flying low and utilizing ground obstacles helps with plane survival. Pilots should approach the battlefield at low altitude and do a flyby over enemy spawn in order to determine whenever the enemy team has active AA or not. RWR helps with this task, but pilots should note that lack of active radar does not necessarily mean that there's no AA active; some skilled players turn off search radars in order to drawn out enemy air assets out of cover. If there's enemy AA, it needs to be taken out first. Only then should the pilot gain altitude necessary for ground attacks. If the pilot gets warning that radar lock has been achieved, immediately deploy chaff, start evasive manoeuvres, and should consider disengaging for the time being.
Pilots should not be afraid to inform their teammates in chat while approaching the battlefield, as forward observers help immensely with locating enemy ground assets; F-4F working this way in tandem with squadmates on ground can turn the tide of battle in a matter of minutes.
Generally speaking, pilots should always try to stick with their teammates. While the F-4F's agility might be tempting, due to its weight it bleeds speed a lot. Dogfighting a single plane might be doable, but doing so often leaves F-4F in low energy state and thus extremely vulnerable. Pilots also tend to tunnel vision on a single enemy, thus exposing themselves to other enemy planes; teammates can provide much needed cover in this scenario, allowing pilots to survive longer.
As for fuel load, F-4F performs best when afterburner is activated - but pilots should be aware that afterburner devours a lot of fuel. Thus it is not advised to take lighter fuel loads; pilots should take either 20 or 28 minutes load, depending on how much they plan to be active.
At the start of the game, pilots should first accelerate to a speed of 1,000-1,100 km/h, then climb to around 3 km altitude, and head towards the battlefield. As the F-4F is not armed with SARH missiles, climbing higher is ill-advised, as higher altitudes tend to be dominated by planes equipped with SARH missiles - those don't need rear aspect to achieve lock, as they use radar guidance and thus they can lock onto enemies from front and side. However, SARH missiles need continuous radar lock of enemy planes in order to score a hit; older radars (those without look down/shoot down ability) tend to pick up a lot of clutter (reflection of radar waves from the ground) when aimed towards ground. This means older radars lose their lock when aiming at the enemy that is below them, significantly reducing SARH missile effectiveness. By simply staying lower than SARH equipped enemies, pilots should be relatively safe (as long as they keep situational awareness). On top of that, pilots can equip chaff as another layer of protection against SARH missiles.
Pilots should not turn fight and instead stick to boom'n'zoom tactics. Luckily, thanks to excellent AIM-9Js, F-4F doesn't need to turn fight in most cases. Optimal launch range is from 1 to 3 km - closer and the missile might not be able to keep track, farther and the missile might run out of fuel before reaching its target. Missile range is dependent on several factors - altitude, the speed of the launching and targeted aircraft, their mutual distance, and the amount of manoeuvring the missile needs to do. Generally speaking, missile traveling in a straight line will have better range than manoeuvring missile. Also, missile launched from higher altitude and with initial speed advantage will also have better range. As for evading missiles, it depends on distance and type of missile launched. It is not advised to pull high G manoeuvres when the missile is launched outside 3.5 km range, as the missile still has time and energy to correct itself before impact, while the target plane just bleeds all of its energy and is left defenseless.
Missiles launched at 3-3.5 km range or greater can be dodged without need for high G manoeuvres - simply slowly zig-zagging while going fast is often enough to defeat them; this manoeuvre does not waste precious countermeasures nor energy. Of course, pilots can also turn off the afterburner and deploy flares as another layer of protection.
Missiles launched below 3 km require different tactics. As most modern missiles can pull 20 Gs or more, pilots need to get as many countermeasures as they can between them and the incoming missile; this often requires a combination with high G evasive manoeuvres, as countermeasures are not 100% guarantee and a missile that locked onto countermeasures might still continue in its path and hit an escaping plane.
If pilots need to counter ground based AA, the best tactic is to break line of sight; by either flying behind cover such as mountains or flying close to the ground.
Specific enemies worth mentioning:
- Mirages, F-5s and J-35s: While F-4F, thanks to its Agile Eagle upgrade, can get these planes in its crosshair, they are more than capable of out-turning F-4F in prolonged turns. On top of that, Mirage is armed with a dreaded Magic AAM that is capable of pulling 30 Gs.
- MiG-21ss: Same case as above; Most of these planes are armed with R-60 AAM, capable of pulling 30 Gs.
- F-4E, F-4EJ, Phantom FG.1 and FGR.2: While these planes offer similar flight performance, they are armed with SARH missiles, and thus have significant advantage while fighting at high altitudes.
Pros and cons
- Best NATO jet available in German tech tree
- Best Sidewinders available in German tech tree
- Same flight performance as the powerful American F-4E Phantom II
- Potent ground attacker
- Unique AGM-65B Maverick fire and forget missiles
- Has access to both RWR and countermeasures
- Heavy, bleeds speed a lot in turns
- Lacks SARH missiles
- Pure CAS loadout reduces flight performance
- Big size, presents giant target
- Limited ammunition for its internal cannon
Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the aircraft in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the
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Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
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|McDonnell Aircraft Corporation|
|Jet Fighters||F2H-2 · F3H-2|
|F-4C Phantom II · F-4E Phantom II|
|Export / License||F-4EJ Phantom II · F-4F Early · F-4F · 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|
|Germany jet aircraft|
|Ar 234||Ar 234 B-2 · Ar 234 C-3|
|He 162||He 162 A-1 · He 162 A-2|
|Ho 229||Ho 229 V3|
|Me 163||Me 163 B · Me 163 B-0|
|Me 262||Me 262 A-1a · Me 262 A-1a/Jabo · Me 262 A-1a/U1 · Me 262 A-1/U4 · Me 262 A-2a · Me 262 C-1a · Me 262 C-2b|
|USA||▀F-84F · CL-13A Mk 5 · CL-13B Mk.6 · ▀F-86K · F-104G · F-4F Early · F-4F|
|USSR||▀MiG-15bis · ▀MiG-19S · ▀MiG-21MF · ▀IL-28|
|Britain||Sea Hawk Mk.100|
|Italy||▀G.91 R/3 · ▀G.91 R/4|