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Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?  
User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1449 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 11234 times:

I still see plenty of pics on here of Luftwaffe F-4''s, and I'm just wondering what role they serve when they have plenty of Tornado and Typhoon aircraft, the former especially having been well proven by now (that's not to insult the Typhoon, just to acknowledge that the Tornado has been around much longer). I'm not sure what capability the F-4 gives them other than maybe top end speed, but even then, it's surely got a much larger radar signature, fuel guzzler, probably can't run all the new toys, etc.

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinesasd209 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Oct 2007, 640 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 11073 times:

Because they are beautiful A/C of course!  
I wonder this myself, surely they must be among the last 2-3? active users of the Phantom? I'm thinking that perhaps Greece and Iran are still using them and the JASDF retired them only recently?


User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4675 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 10888 times:

Quoting LHCVG (Thread starter):
Quoting sasd209 (Reply 1):

Germany uses the F-4 in the air-to-air role. Due to the slow introduction of the Eurofighter, it is still around, but should be gone completely in two or three years. And remember, in the 1990s Germany updated the F-4s with the APG-65 radar (also used on the F-18) and since then, it can employ ANRAAM missiles.

The Tornado was intended as a fighter bomber and therefore, it didn't replace the F-4 completely.



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlinetripledelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1096 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 10888 times:
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Quoting sasd209 (Reply 1):
I'm thinking that perhaps Greece and Iran are still using them and the JASDF retired them only recently?

Turkey uses them too, with theirs having been upgraded by IAI to a higher standard with some modern avionics.

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Photo © Thomas Kraemer




No plane, no gain.
User currently offlinecolumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7027 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 10886 times:

For years the Phantoms were Germany primary fighter aircraft and have had several upgrades over the years. They have received the radar of the F/A 18 Hornet and are pretty good in BVR range interceptions.
The Tornado is the fighter/bomber of the German Air Force and only used in air to ground missions. The Tornado therefore could never replace the Phantom although it was briefly intended to do so.
The Typhoon is not combat ready yet, although being used on some QRA missions. The Phantom will continue to be in the fleet till 2015 maybe even longer.

Tthe Phantom was only acquired as an interim solution till the Tornado would be ready, but as it came clear that the Tornado would be a terrible fighter aircraft the decision was made to keep it a while longer. Since the Eurofighter is also delayed (it was once called "Fighter 90") the Phantoms stayed in the fleet for almost 40 years now. Not too bad for an short term interim solution 



It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently onlinemffoda From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1019 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 10788 times:

Why keep them.... Mercedes... BMW... MTU... etc. etc. Those Germans are pretty good mechanics  

I'll bet those aircraft are maintained like NEW!



harder than woodpecker lips...
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12061 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 10788 times:

Doesn't Israel, Japan, and Egypt also still fly the F-4? If they do, that brings the number of countries still flying her to 7, being Germany, Japan, Israel, Greece, Egypt, Turkey, and Iran.

User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1449 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 10704 times:

Quoting A342 (Reply 2):
And remember, in the 1990s Germany updated the F-4s with the APG-65 radar (also used on the F-18) and since then, it can employ ANRAAM missiles.

I had forgotten that upgrade, so indeed that would be great for BVR ops.

Quoting mffoda (Reply 5):
Why keep them.... Mercedes... BMW... MTU... etc. etc. Those Germans are pretty good mechanics

I'll bet those aircraft are maintained like NEW!

I bet! That's always been my joke about the old East German MiG's -- that they might not be Western a/c, but you can bet they were in the best shape of anybody's around the world! I guess too after forty-ish years they have all the particulars for the F-4's down to a science, so greater mx requirements is probably a minor issue.


User currently offlinemechatnew From United States of America, joined May 2005, 100 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 10594 times:

South Korea still has a good number of F-4D/Es flying in the fighter/bomber role, and RF-4C for recon.

User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 9, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 10493 times:
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Because:

They're paid for.

They are good missile carrying interceptors and can launch AMRAAMs with the best of them.

They have good electronics upgrades.

They're fast (still) and fit Germany's stated need for an interceptor as well as any available interim aircraft would while they're waiting on the Tornado ADF.

Besides.....who's gonna send fighters into attack Germany now?



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3396 posts, RR: 29
Reply 10, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 10476 times:

I think the others have pretty much covered it all. The Phantom is the interim solution until the Eurofighter replaces it finally in 2012. It is still used because it does the job, and the Eurofighter was delayed.

Interesting for me is the fact that the Phantoms were used to defend the airspace of a Baltic state, something where they actually came quite close to russian SU-27s some years ago.


User currently offlinewalter2222 From Belgium, joined Sep 2005, 1292 posts, RR: 29
Reply 11, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 10475 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):
Doesn't Israel, Japan, and Egypt also still fly the F-4? If they do, that brings the number of countries still flying her to 7, being Germany, Japan, Israel, Greece, Egypt, Turkey, and Iran.
Quoting mechatnew (Reply 8):
South Korea still has a good number of F-4D/Es flying in the fighter/bomber role, and RF-4C for recon.

Showing the flags of the countries still flying the Phantom (back in 2008):


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Photo © Walter Van Bel



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Walter



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User currently offlineAvro7 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 45 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 10223 times:

wikipedia actually lists the number of Phantom II's still in use at well over 400, quite plausible.

User currently offlinesasd209 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Oct 2007, 640 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 10117 times:

Quoting walter2222 (Reply 11):
Showing the flags of the countries still flying the Phantom (back in 2008):

Well, I guess I was off by a few.  


User currently offlinesovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2519 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 9549 times:
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Don't forget USAF still uses them. Yes they are drones but hey they still fly right ?  

User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3475 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 9451 times:

Quoting columba (Reply 4):
Tthe Phantom was only acquired as an interim solution till the Tornado would be ready, but as it came clear that the Tornado would be a terrible fighter aircraft the decision was made to keep it a while longer.

I wasn't aware that West Germany as it then was ever considered to ADV version of the Tornado. The ADV was purely a UK aircraft, subsequently exported to Saudi Arabia, and leased to Italy.
Whilst it was not a dog fighting fighter aircraft in the mould of the F16, or F15 it possessed long legs which suited the UK requirement for covering the gap between Iceland and Norway. It was however a good generation newer and superior to the F4.

In hindsight the ADV Tornado might have been a good move for Germany, especially as its now been available and in service for over 20 years, whilst they continue to upgrade and try to keep their Phantoms in the air. Of course though when the decision to stick with the Phantom and not for the Tornado was made probably in 1980 or thereabouts, I'm sure they had no intention of operating them for another 30 years.

As to it being a "terrible fighter aircraft" the only major problem I can recall was with the foxhunter radar. The early RAF examples being given the "blue circle" designation due to the nose having a concrete block instead of a radar system (Blue circle is a major UK brand of cement)


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12061 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 9276 times:

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 14):
Don't forget USAF still uses them. Yes they are drones but hey they still fly right ?

Perhaps, but the QF-4C/D/E/J fighters are not considered as "active" USAF or USN aircraft. Those that fly with pilots aboard are flown by contractors, not active duty pilots.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 15):
As to it being a "terrible fighter aircraft" the only major problem I can recall was with the foxhunter radar.

The F-4 is still a very good fighter and is still very good with the advorsaries it had back in it's hayday. There are still plenty of Mig-21/-23 fighters out there the F-4 can easily match up with.


User currently offlineMarcus From Mexico, joined exactly 13 years ago today! , 1766 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 9256 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 10):
Interesting for me is the fact that the Phantoms were used to defend the airspace of a Baltic state, something where they actually came quite close to russian SU-27s some years ago.

Did not know about this....can you please elaborate?



Kids!....we are going to the happiest place on earth...TIJUANA! signed: Krusty the Clown
User currently offlineAnt72LBA From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 414 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 9148 times:

Quoting Marcus (Reply 17):
Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 10):
Interesting for me is the fact that the Phantoms were used to defend the airspace of a Baltic state, something where they actually came quite close to russian SU-27s some years ago.

Did not know about this....can you please elaborate?

NATO Baltic Air Patrol - Wikipedia details the various Air Forces that have been involved. Presume this is what TheSonntag is referring to.


User currently offlineOV735 From Estonia, joined Jan 2004, 903 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 9143 times:

Quoting Marcus (Reply 17):
Interesting for me is the fact that the Phantoms were used to defend the airspace of a Baltic state, something where they actually came quite close to russian SU-27s some years ago.

Did not know about this....can you please elaborate?

The Baltic Air Policing is a rotating mission between NATO members, whereby four fighters are based in Siauliai (Lithuania) for four months. Luftwaffe has carried the role three times (2005, 2008, 2009), twice with Phantoms and once with the Typhoon. Currently it's Poland's third rotation with MiG-29s.

The mission itself is more of a friendly pat on the back for the Baltic states, rather than an actual deterrent, as the location of the base leaves some parts of the Baltic States out of operational range, and the chain of command is much too long for an actual engagement to happen in a timely manner. In 2005, during Luftwaffe's first watch, a Russian Su-27 operating a recon sortie, crashed in Lithuania, well before the Phantoms could even take off.


User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3396 posts, RR: 29
Reply 20, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 8989 times:

Quoting Ant72LBA (Reply 18):
NATO Baltic Air Patrol - Wikipedia details the various Air Forces that have been involved.

Correct, thats what I meant.

Regarding the initial plan to use the F-4, the F-4F germany uses initially was a downgraded F-4E, designed for dogfighting only, with the Sparrow capability removed. It was intended for use in the German short range cold war theater only.

Only when it became apparrent the F-4 was to be used longer, it finally got upgraded with the ICE programme, thus being able to use AMRAAMs.


User currently offlinemechatnew From United States of America, joined May 2005, 100 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 8914 times:

The USAF Drone Phantoms, QF-4Es, and the first QRF-4Cs are flown by a mix of Active duty, and contract pilots.

User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12061 posts, RR: 52
Reply 22, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 8686 times:

Quoting mechatnew (Reply 21):
The USAF Drone Phantoms, QF-4Es, and the first QRF-4Cs are flown by a mix of Active duty, and contract pilots.

Thanks, I had thought they were only flown with contractor crews.


User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3396 posts, RR: 29
Reply 23, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 8599 times:

Quoting mechatnew (Reply 21):
The USAF Drone Phantoms, QF-4Es, and the first QRF-4Cs are flown by a mix of Active duty, and contract pilots.

Sorry if this question sounds stupid, but what exactly are Drone Phantoms used for? I mean when they are used as a target, they obviously are unmanned, and I do understand that test, but what is the purpose of using drones? Testing radars and other avionics?


User currently offlinemechatnew From United States of America, joined May 2005, 100 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks ago) and read 8425 times:

The drones are used for many different testing missions, and most of the flights are manned. Only when live missles are being used against it, is it unmanned.

25 Breiz : Just curious about an apparent contradiction. Are they still regarded as drones when manned?
26 mechatnew : The Phantoms have the QF-4E/G or QRF-4C designnation , and considered drones because on all the modifications for unmanned flight. When the QF-100Ds,
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