The F-4E is the most powerful variant of the Phantom II fighter family, the famous American aircraft
Currently, there are still a few hundred F-4E Phantom II fighters operating in the air forces of a number of countries, including Turkey and Japan. The F-4E Phantom II was used by the US Air Force until 1996. To be fair, it is still one of the most successful American fighters.
After the Korean War, the US believed that dogfights had ceased, and equipping the aircraft with aviation cannons no longer made much sense, instead of air-to-air missiles. From this point of view, the American fighter manufacturer decided to remove the cannons from the F-4 Phantom II heavy fighter.
The Americans were very confident with this new fighter, and immediately brought it to the Vietnam battlefield to test fire. As soon as they arrived on the Vietnam battlefield, the US sent F-4 squadrons to find and attack the Vietnamese MiGs, which were more backward at that time.
The F-4s paid a heavy price, were shot down a lot. Even the MiG-17 fighters, which had subsonic speed, and were not equipped with air-to-air missiles, could defeat the F-4 Phantom II. The most famous were the dogfights with the MiG-21, and the losers were the F-4 Phantom IIs.
F-4E could carry more than 8.48 tons of weapons at 9 hard points on the fuselage and wings, including: air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, guided and unguided bombs, nuclear bombs. The US Air Force received the first F-4Es in 1967. Soon they were mass-produced for the Air Force as well as for allies.
It is estimated that more than 1,000 F-4Es have been sold to US allies. The combat capability of the F-4E was demonstrated during the Arab-Israeli wars of 1973 and 1982. In the Middle East battlefield, a series of MiG aircraft of the Arab bloc were shot down by F-4E. The combat capability of the F-4E was superior to its predecessors. During the Cold War years, the F-4E Phantom II was the mainstay of the US Navy and Marine Corps.
The F-4E also became NATO’s most popular fighter as they were highly maneuverable, able to take on a variety of missions, from reconnaissance, air superiority, air suppression, and tactical bombing. Currently, the F-4E 2020T Terminator variant is considered to have the same combat power as modern 4th generation fighters. During the simulated exercise, the F-4E Terminators shot down the Su-27s eight times without suffering any losses.