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Would F-4s Really Be Activated For WAR?  
User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4466 posts, RR: 5
Posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3088 times:

In an earlier post, the massive amount of F-4s that are currenlty in storage at AMARC was discussed. Supposedly, in WAR time these airframes would/could be reactivated. My question is, what does a F-4 bring to the table? Wouldn't it make more sense to start mass producing present day jets?


"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJohnM From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 351 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3058 times:

My understanding is that they are working through the F-4 fleet and making drones and that sort of thing out of them. As far as the US is concerned, where would you find current/ qualified aviators and maintenance guys? There is nobody left in the USAF to fix them anymore, unless you tapped some guys who used to have them in the Guard/ Reserve. Any active duty AF guy who worked F-4s is now out, or E-7 or above. Also test equipment, tech data and that stuff has all gone down the tubes ( at least in the quanities needed to get the plane back in active service.) People I know who used to work them liked the airplane, but admit it is a very hard airplane to keep flying.

User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3057 times:

By the time you identified the aircraft to be re-activated, started refurbishing, done the necessary testing the war would probably be over.

User currently offlineHamfist From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 614 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3056 times:

Not a chance!!

The F-4 is, indeed, moving on to the much less glorious world of being an unmanned aerial target. In fact, F-4's have been used like this for several years now.

And, as JohnM mentioned, it would be next to impossible to gather together the neccessary personnel to make a squadron.

The F-4 had it's day and is now just a piece of history. I can't think of anything it would bring to the fight that today's jets can't accomplish.


User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3027 times:

As a matter of interest, does anyone know how long it takes to build a modern day fighter aircraft? I imagine that the production lines are not geared up for mass production either.

User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 5, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2959 times:

That is exactly the reason why aircraft are put in storage Saintsman.

The F-4 has indeed had its day in the sun, sadly it's soon to be gone. There may be a few reserve units left that fly the RF-4 or F-4G versions, but apart from that the type is no longer in use.
Its place in the boneyards for attrition replacements has been taken by the F-15A and F-16A, just like it took the place of the F-102 and F-101.
The examples still in storage will be converted to drones or scrapped for spares (either for those drones or for sale to countries that still use F-4s).
If a protracted war were to break out some might be converted into drones and packed with explosives to serve as makeshift cruise missiles but that would be an act of desperation more than a sound operational decision (remember that the Tomahawk and ALCM production lines are also closed and no new cruise missile is on the drawing board (let alone in production or testing) to take its place. During Desert Storm, the Navy and Air Force all but ran out of cruise missiles and had to convert nuclear tipped ones to conventional use leaving the nuclear deterrent force to wait for the Tomahawk production line to be reopened which took several months).



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineLt-AWACS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2905 times:

There are no F-4 or RF-4 squadrons anywhere (AF, Guard,Res) in the US, other than the drone units, mainly at Tyndall. I do know some pilots who still fly the F-4 as the drones sometimes are flown with pilots for various tests. They do not give F-4 slots out of UPT, all the F-4 folks are older. Most of the maint. is contracted.

And no they would not come out of AMARC. In fact there is already talk of a shortage of F-4s for drones as we are using them up faster than we thought originally. I even saw one crash while I was at Tyndall (unmanned flight)

Ciao and Hook 'em Horns,
Lt-AWACS


User currently offlineEssentialPowr From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1820 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2780 times:

RE F4s: "...and packed with explosives to serve as makeshift cruise missiles but that would be an act of desperation more than a sound operational decision"


Good thing we had jwenting's solid judgement to recommend the QF4s NOT be converted into a "makeshift cruise missile", as that is certainly the next weapons system to be budgeted, designed, tested, qualified and deployed by the DOD...

Just kidding. Are these comments made by adults?


User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 8, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2749 times:

Look back a few wars Essentialpower, and you'll see that the idea of converting obsolete fighters into cruise missiles is an old one.
The Germans did it in WW2 (with little success because they didn't have very reliable guidance systems and most targets had a lot of FLAK around them).
Iraq experimented with it a few years ago using L-29 trainers (supposedly to carry biochemical weapons over enemy troop concentrations).
The USSR had cruise missiles that looked a lot like their early jet fighters (and may have been designed based on the blueprints for those fighters) (not quite the same, but still).

Japan in WW2 of course went all the way and installed a human in the cockpit for the mission because they lacked the electronics to do it unmanned.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineEssentialPowr From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1820 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 2715 times:

jwenting
It's a stupid comment, on top of the two comments I've asked you to prove already...on top of the F14 comments; which were so erroneous it was laughable.


An F4 as a cruise missile????

Spend millions to do what 2 JSOWs or a 2 JDAMs could do when dropped from an air platform; or what 2 Tomahawks could do from a submarine or surface ship. In terms of dollar cost per pound of munitions dropped, your idea is WWII thinking at best. It's too bad your knowledge of contemporary weapons systems is so poor!

The millions spent in converting an old F4 into a modern weapon with the range, accuracy and reliability required for a modern weapon in the US arsenal makes your statement laughable at best. Two GE J79s, rebuilt so the entire assembly doesn't fail prematurely in to non hostile territory (political efffects??), combined with the dollar cost for a pilot to fly it remotely is hardly a cost effective weapon, and that assumes the airframe was flyable in the first place. Tell the SEcDEf that F4 pilots need to be trained and paid in order to drop 6,000 lbs of munitions from a range of 1600 miles...and he'd say a JSOW will do what 4 F4s would do, more accurately, and more reliably, at 1/10 the cost.

You spout mass amounts of BS on this web site, but you are as clueless as anyone I've encountered to date.


User currently offlineEssentialPowr From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1820 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 2715 times:

And I'm still waiting for 2 references...

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29832 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2709 times:

Actually Joe Jr. (Kennedy) got killed flying a B-24 that had been converted to a "cruise missile"

The war weary B-24 had been loaded up with explosives and after the pilot (Kennedy) had gotten it off the ground he was supposed to hand off control to a chase plane and bail out of the "missile".

Unfortunatly for him it didn't quite work out that way and his airplane detonated before he was able to get out. If memory serves he was going after a V-1 bunker, but don't hold me to that.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineTEDSKI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2672 times:

No way will the US military re-activate the F-4 Phantom! The aircraft is obsolete, it is a 1950s design that can't match today's high tech fighters in air to air combat like the F-16, F/A-18, MIG-29, SU-27, and F-22.

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