lhcvg
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Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Fri May 07, 2010 10:45 pm

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.
 
sasd209
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Sat May 08, 2010 3:50 am

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?
 
A342
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Sat May 08, 2010 10:46 am

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.
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TripleDelta
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Sat May 08, 2010 10:47 am

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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columba
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Sat May 08, 2010 10:48 am

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 
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mffoda
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Sat May 08, 2010 1:23 pm

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

I'll bet those aircraft are maintained like NEW!
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kc135topboom
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Sat May 08, 2010 1:24 pm

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.
 
lhcvg
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Sat May 08, 2010 3:11 pm

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.
 
mechatnew
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Sat May 08, 2010 5:15 pm

South Korea still has a good number of F-4D/Es flying in the fighter/bomber role, and RF-4C for recon.
 
dl021
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Sat May 08, 2010 6:46 pm

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?
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TheSonntag
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Sat May 08, 2010 6:51 pm

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.
 
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walter2222
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Sat May 08, 2010 6:52 pm

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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Avro7
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Sun May 09, 2010 2:19 am

wikipedia actually lists the number of Phantom II's still in use at well over 400, quite plausible.
 
sasd209
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Sun May 09, 2010 5:02 am

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.  
 
sovietjet
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Mon May 10, 2010 7:26 am

Don't forget USAF still uses them. Yes they are drones but hey they still fly right ?  
 
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Mon May 10, 2010 10:49 am

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)
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Mon May 10, 2010 4:46 pm

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.
 
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Mon May 10, 2010 5:17 pm

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?
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Ant72LBA
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Mon May 10, 2010 6:57 pm

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.
 
OV735
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Mon May 10, 2010 7:03 pm

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.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Mon May 10, 2010 10:32 pm

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.
 
mechatnew
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Tue May 11, 2010 1:25 am

The USAF Drone Phantoms, QF-4Es, and the first QRF-4Cs are flown by a mix of Active duty, and contract pilots.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Tue May 11, 2010 2:19 pm

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.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Tue May 11, 2010 5:46 pm

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?
 
mechatnew
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Wed May 12, 2010 1:36 am

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.
 
breiz
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Mon May 24, 2010 9:56 pm

Quoting mechatnew (Reply 24):
The drones are used for many different testing missions, and most of the flights are manned.

Just curious about an apparent contradiction. Are they still regarded as drones when manned?
 
mechatnew
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RE: Why Does The Luftwaffe Keep The F-4's Around?

Tue May 25, 2010 12:53 am

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, and QF-106A/B were is use there were a couple of unmodifed F-100F's or F-106Bs in use for pilot training, but I think that all Phantoms are droned.

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