I'm wondering if a second generation Phantom (a Super Phantom) could have been procured for the USN instead of the Hornet, as posters on another forum have suggested that Spey Phantoms could have been developed into something at the very least comparable to the Hornet. The Phantom already had a payload superior to the Hornet, and it was suggested that the Spey could be developed to provide 25,000 lbf. Additionally, a conformal fuel tank capable of carrying missiles and chaff in forward/rear bays were developed for the aircraft under a USN contract sometime in the 1970s, which could have freed up the wing pylons ordinarily used by drop tanks. More modern avionics could have been equipped, and a Strike Phantom could have been developed with a targeting pod and reinforced airframe for strike operations, a role in which many Phantoms were retired to as they aged out of the interception role. Additionally, the design could be revised with improved pilot, WSO, and ground crew ergonomics in mind, as well as maintainability and reliability. Some of the pilot and WSO controls and gauges were placed in awkward locations, and I've heard that the Spey engines on the Buccaneer and British Spey Phantoms took a day to replace. Since the design is being revised anyways (the Phantom/Super Phantom relationship likely being akin to that of the Hornet and Super Hornet) fly by wire systems and perhaps even canards could be equipped to improve performance.