F-4G Wild Weasel walkaround

  From early on, the USAF had intended to replace its F-105-based Weasels with a variant of the F-4, as such an aircraft would be easier to integrate with operations by F-4 strike models. An F-4 Weasel would also be easier to support, as the F-105 production line had been shut down, and airframes and spares would become increasingly scarce as time went on. However, integrating the Weasel mission equipment into the Phantom airframe proved to be a somewhat protracted affair.

   The 36 "EF-4C" Wild Weasel conversions were interim aircraft that lacked AGM-78 capability, and by the time the definitive F-4G version arrived, the Phantom had gone out of production in the US, thus the type had to be produced from the conversion of late-block F-4Es; it had been intended to base the model on the F-4D, but the E-model was more up to date, and with the cannon removed there was adequate volume for the new mission equipment.

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F-4G Wild Weasel

 

F-4G at NMUSAF - intake

 Despite being somewhat technically outdated by the time of Desert Storm, the F-4G was a pivotal part of Allied air operations over Iraq. Aircraft deployed from Germany and California to Saudia Arabia and Turkey protected strike aircraft from Iraqi SAMs through the whole war, and towards the end even the radio call of "Magnum" declaring a HARM launch was enough to turn off Iraqi radars. The NMUSAF's F-4G 69-7263 shot off over forty AGM-88s during Desert Storm.

F-4G HARM missile

F-4G walkaround

F-4G AGM-88 HARM

F-4G nose gear

Bibliography:

Clarence A. Robinson  "F-4G Boosts Wild Weasel Capabilities"  Aviation Week & Space Technology  February 6, 1978  p.181+

Michael Feazel  "F-4G Units Expect Suvivability Gain From HARM, Maverick Installation"   Aviation Week & Space Technology  September 2, 1985  p.78-79
 

RF-4C walkaround