The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a long range all weather supersonic fighter-bomber that first flew in the late 1950s and became famous for its exploits during the Vietnam War. The Phantom is capable of travelling at Mach 2.2 and also carrying over 18,000 pounds of weapons. The aircraft was originally developed as an all-weather interceptor for the US Navy and was designated the F4H-1 and was eventually given its Phantom II name after the suggested Satan and Mithras names were rejected. In addition to the USAF, US Marine Corps and US Navy, the Phantom was operated by 11 other nations, including the UK's RAF and Royal Navy.
Greece originally ordered its fleet of F-4E Phantoms in 1971 and further supplemented the fleet with ex-US and German F-4Es and specialised reconnaissance RF-4Es during the early 1990s. During 1997 Greece upgraded 39 F-4E to the Peace Icarus 2000 standard upgraded the aircrafts avionics, cockpit systems and weapons. In particular the upgrade gave the Phantom the capability to use the Aim-120 beyond visual range air to air missile together with the Litening targeting pod plus other modern smart weapons. Greece intends to operate its fleet of upgraded F-4s until 2027 and are the final Phantom operator in the European Union.
The Hellenic Air Force will be sending a pair of these cold war warriors for static display at this year's Air Tattoo and will be provided by 338 Squadron from the 117th Combat Wing at Andravida Air Base.
Photo Credit: Aviation Photocrew
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