CX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4434 posts, RR: 5 Posted (10 years 11 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2743 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
JohnM From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 332 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (10 years 11 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2713 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.
Jwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 20 Reply 5, posted (10 years 11 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2614 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).
Lt-AWACS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (10 years 11 months 5 days ago) and read 2560 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)
EssentialPowr From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1820 posts, RR: 2 Reply 7, posted (10 years 11 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2435 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...
Jwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 20 Reply 8, posted (10 years 11 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2404 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.
EssentialPowr From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1820 posts, RR: 2 Reply 9, posted (10 years 11 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2370 times:
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.
TEDSKI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 12, posted (10 years 11 months 2 hours ago) and read 2327 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.