1980s F-4 Phantom upgrades (BMAC, IAI, ADTAC, etc.)

Pyrrhic victory

This is going to hurt
31 January 2008
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Boeing Military Aircraft Company + Pratt and Whitney Proposal -
In 1983 BMAC and PW announced they were privately developing a major upgrade program for the F-4. This included an 1100 US gallon centerline CFT with integral front wheel well which Boeing had originally developed in an earlier Navy contract. The CFT was able of carrying 2 medium sized missiles or 4 air-to-ground hard points. By 1984 the electronics line up was solidified and the "Super Phantom" was brought to 1980s standards with the F-16's GEC HUD and Sperry MFD, the F-20's Honeywell INS, and the Westinghouse APG-65/66. The J79 was swapped out for the newer, shorter, lighter and more powerful PW1120 yielding great improvements in T/W, time to climb and sustained turn rate. Boeing put great emphasis on work share agreements and customization with the export partner and received interest from Israel, South Korea, Spain, Turkey and Japan. There was also a solicitation to the Air National Guard. The program was quickly there after shelved for vague reasons...

Air National Guard proposed upgrades -
In 1979 Aerospace Defense Command is disbanded and its former assets along with USANG units that perform air defence form Air Defence, Tactical Air Command. The older F-101B/F and F-106A units are replaced by F-4C/D aircraft throughout the early 1980s in the ADTAC. Bootstrap proposals for fitting the APG-65/66 and reinstalling the IRST in the chin pod are floated throughout the early-mid 1980s, but with the selection of the F-16 ADF the upgrades are shunned. 1987 saw Loral developed a bird strike resistant single piece front windscreen and it is envisioned to be installed several hundred domestic and foreign F-4s, however only a handful of ANG RF-4C, F-4Es and F-4Gs get the screen.

Israeli Aircraft Industry upgrades-
Along with the usual electronics upgrades the IAF in the early 1980s sought to upgrade its Phantoms to make them viable into the new millenium. Early design specifications for the "Super Phantom 2000" drew inspiration from the earlier Boeing soliciation substituting in licensed PW1120 also used in the Lavi, it also had some more unique features like canards above intakes. The proposal was simplified after Israel entered a recession in 1985, and only one Phantom flew with PW1120s in 1986-87 as an engine testbed. By the end of 1987 the Lavi was cancelled and the program turned into a strike instensive electronics upgrade resulting in the Kurnass 2000 which featured all sorts of goodies from Elisa, Elbit and El Op. The Kurnass 2000 also featured the much delayed SAR APG-76, derived from the A-6F's APQ-173. The K2000 served until 2004 and served as the basis for Terminator 2020 program.

"The Phantom Story" by Anthony M. Thornborough


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Demon Lord Razgriz said:
Oh man, where did you get the Magnphantom pic? I've got the book with that and I've looked everywhere for it online.

Probably via scanning.


I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but, I am one who thinks that the upgraded F-4s proposed and offered to the U.S. Navy/USMC by MD in the 1970s made the F-14 unecessary. Be it graduated updates to the F-4J/S in terms of radar and missiles or all the way to a complete rebuild/new manufacture along the line of the F-4T, the Phanton could have handled all of the roles that played out in reality.

The Phoenix? The AIM-54 never proved reliable against anything more than straight and level targets in testing...it was not a magic weapon by any means. Later versions of the Sparrow and now the AIM-120 can do more than it but at the cost of range.

The F-4/F-14 situation is a wonderful look into how one can overthink a situation and spend good money for something that is not really necessary. I do think the U.S. Navy learned from it seeing as how there is no "naval" ATF as originally envisioned, developing a perfectly capable platform with maturing tech, and still being able to provide suitable assets for the threats involved and within budget...........the Super Hornet.
Warplane, 1986. The schematic repeats one of Pv's scans but adds thrust-to-weight figures.


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B) :)
F-4 Phantom II Proposed Conformal Fuel Tank
Phantom II Proposed Conformal Fuel Tank When we think of conformal fuel tanks, we think of the F-15 versions; but, this was also proposed for the F-4 Phantom II. A number of configurations are shown in this MDC report of 1981.
Credit: Greater St. Louis Air and Space Museum.

Click here to review report illustrations

Source: http://aviationarchives.blogspot.de/2014/11/f-4-phantom-ii-proposed-conformal-fuel.html


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Greetings All -

Some of this is covered already:


Enjoy the Day! Mark

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