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Since its first flight in May 1958, the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II proved to be a tough, rugged and excellent all-weather, air superiority fighter/bomber. From flying fleet defence missions during the Cuban Missile Crisis and performing as an air superiority fighter/bomber during the Vietnam War, to taking out Iraqi surface-to-air missile sites in the Wild Weasel role during Operation Desert Storm, the Phantom II did it all. Other nations have also benefited tremendously from the acquisition of export versions of this remarkable aircraft. Here Mark A. Chambers recounts an illuminating history of this truly unique aircraft's design and development and relives its glorious record in the Vietnam War, various Arab-Israeli conflicts, the Cold War and Operation Desert Storm.
Originally designed as a carrier-borne long-range interceptor armed with radar-guided missiles and tasked with defence against missile-launching bombers, the Phantom II went on to establish itself as one of the most important multi-role fighter, attack and reconnaissance aircraft of the 20th century. Arguably the United States' most important aircraft in the Vietnam War, where it played the role of workhorse as well as being a deadly MiG interceptor, the Phantom was also a mainstay of Atlantic Fleet operations ? intercepting Soviet bomber and reconnaissance aircraft and turning them away from the carrier groups at the height of the Cold War. This book reveals the design and development history of the naval Phantom, its variants and the exported designs adopted by other NATO countries. Packed with illustrations, photographs and first-hand accounts, it provides a technical history of one of the most famous aircraft ever built.
In many respects the most successful, versatile and widely-used combat aircraft of the post-war era the F-4 Phantom II was quickly adopted by the USAF after its spectacular US Navy introduction. Its introduction to USAF squadrons happened just in time for the Vietnam conflict where USAF F-4Cs took over MiG-fighting duties from the F-100 Super Sabre. Although the F-4 was never intended as a dog-fighter to tangle with light, nimble, gun-armed MiGs it was responsible for destroying 109 MiGs in aerial combat. At the end of their careers many of the survivors from the 3,380 'land-based' Phantoms were converted into target drones for training purposes. New aircraft were also built for West Germany, Iran and Israel. The USAF's experience with the Phantom showed clearly that the air-to-air fighter was still a necessity and its decision to fund its successor, the McDonnell-Douglas F-15 Eagle (as well as the F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-22A Raptor) was heavily influenced by the lessons of US and other Phantom pilots in combat.
A legend in its own time, over five thousand Phantoms were built in St Louis and Japan over more than twenty years. This heavily tabular book gives the construction number and first flight date of each aircraft and the attrition or retirement date and disposition of those no longer in service. USAF, USN and USMC aircraft which have scored combat victories are also detailed.
Features: 128 pages Chr(45) full colour throughout; Details of the Phantoms flown by the Armed Forces of Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, Greece, Turkey, Australia, Israel, Spain, South Korea, Egypt and Iran; Individual nation airframe anomalies and weaponry; Colour side-views by David Howley; Modelling Export Versions in popular scales; A guide to available kits, decals and accessories; Scale plans by David Howley.
This concise, illustrated history focuses on the McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II aircraft and units assigned to George AFB, California, from 1964-92. George's association with the aircraft began with the arrival of the first F-4s in April 1964, and would last over twenty-eight years. The initial mission was to train F-4 aircrews, and from 1964 through 1973, the majority of these graduates went directly to Southeast Asia in support of the Vietnam War. As the need for newly trained aircrews decreased, the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing, and later the 37th TFW, added an operational commitment flying F-4Es and F-4C Wild Weasels, as well as F-4G Advanced Wild Weasel aircraft. The training of aircrews for Germany's Air Force was added to the 35th TFW's mission in December 1972. F-4 operations continued at George under the 35th and 37th wings until inactivation of the 35th Wing in December 1992, and the closing of George AFB at the end of the Cold War.
First entering service in 1960 with the US military, the F-4 Phantom remained at the forefront of US air power throughout the 1970s and 1980s. It saw extensive action during the Vietnam War as the principal air superiority fighter for both the US Navy and Air Force, as well as in the ground-attack and reconnaissance roles. The F-4J, K and M also played key roles with the RAF and Royal Navy in the same period. Former RAF Phantom navigator Ian Black gives the F-4 the Haynes Manual treatment.

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