Tag Archives: F-4 Phantom

More than 100 Greek warplanes (including last A-7E Corsair jets) conduct live firing exercise

The Hellenic Air Force stages large exercise at the Kranea Firing Installation in Larisa.

On Jul. 3, more than 100 Greek fighter jets of all types demonstrated their air strike capabilities using various types of weapons, including guided missiles, bombs and cannons, at the Kranea Firing Installation in Larisa, Greece


Hellenic Air Force’s F-16s Block 30 up to Block 52M, Mirage 2000-5, F-4E AUP Phantom, A-7E Corsair jets (at one of their last appearances before being retired in September) supported by an Erieye EMB-145H AEW&C took part in the exercise, which also featured AH-64DHA Longbow Apache attack helicopters of the Hellenic Army, that fired salvo of AGM-114K1 Hellfire missiles.


The drills, included aerial tactical reconnaissance provided by the UAV PEGASUS, High Value Air Asset (HVAA) Protection/Attack and virtual dogfights, CSAR (Combat Search And Rescue) operation, supported by AH-64DHA Longbow Apache attack helos.


F-4 Phantom

Image credit: Hellenic Air Force

H/T to Strategy Reports for the heads-up.

[Photo] Anatolian Eagle 2014-2 exercise underway in Turkey

Several Turkish and foreign squadron are attending Exercise Anatolian Eagle underway at Konya airbase, in Turkey.

Inspired to the American Red Flag and Maple Flag, Exercise Anatolian Eagle, hosted by the Turkish Air Force at Konya airbase, has become one of the events spotters can’t miss.

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Several different air arms, with a wide variety of aircraft types are invited to attend the drills, which realize a realistic war environment, featuring numerous targets, threats and training support systems whose aim is to monitor the quality of the flying activity and test the knowledge and abilities of all participants.

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The exercise includes Combined Air Operation (COMAO) by “Blue” forces on the tactical and strategic targets in “Red” lands which are defended by aggressors and SAM systems.

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Along with Turkish F-16s, F-4s and Boeing 737 AEW&C Peace Eagle, Anatolian Eagle 2014-2, from Jun. 9 to 20, is attended by RAF Typhoons, Spanish Air Force Typhoons and F-18 Hornets, Royal Jordanian Air Force F-16s, and Qatar Air Force Mirage 2000s.

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In this post you can find the first images taken by this author on Jun. 18 at Konya airbase during the AE spotters day. More photographs, will be published soon.

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The most interesting Warplanes of the Iranian Air Force Open Day

Every year from Mar. 21 to Mar. 31 the regular Iranian Air Force holds an open house and exhibition similar to those one might see in North America or European nations.

The Open Day of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force is a legacy left from the former Imperial Iranian Air Force where military installations were opened to public more often than not.

Actually, the recent air show at Dezful 4th air base also coincides with the Persian Norooz and the annual trips to former Iran-Iraq war fronts/trenches taken by the enthusiastic Iranian public.


Among the aircraft on display, obviously, several U.S. types locally modified, including the legendary IRIAF F-14 Tomcat, the F-4E Phantom (like the two involved in a close encounter with an American F-22 over the Persian Gulf last year) and the F-5 Tiger.


The IRIAF still operates some Mig-29 Fulcrums as the one depicted in the image below.


Su-24 Fencer:


Image credit: Danial Behmanesh/nahaja.aja.ir


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An unknown story from the Yom Kippur war: Israeli F-4s vs North Korean MiG-21s

Even if the McDonnell Douglas F-4 was developed as interceptor in response to the need of the U.S. Navy to protect their aircraft carrier, the ultimate version of the Phantom II was the USAF F-4E, a multi role fighter which was also sold to several air forces around the world. One of the countries to receive the F-4E was Israel that bought the first examples in 1969 and later made the Phantom the mainstay of its Air Power bringing the F-4 in all the major Arab-Israeli conflicts.

In 1973, during the Yom Kippur War, the Israeli Air force (IAF) found itself facing an Arab Air Forces coalition which was composed not only by Egyptian and Syrian fighter squadrons, but also by units from Algeria, Iraq, Libya and … North Korea, that deployed a MiG-21 squadron to Bir Arida to protect Egypt’s south.

Obviously, at the time,  IAF pilots didn’t know that some of the MiGs they would face were from North Korea. However the first engagement between North Korean pilots and Israeli pilots took place on Oct. 6, 1973 when two F-4 Kurnass (Sledgehammer) pairs from 69 and 119 Squadrons were scrambled from Ramat David Air Base for a patrol over the Gulf of Suez sector.

The F-4s of the two squadrons were teamed together and the 69 pair (which had their crews formed by Shadmi and Gur on board the first aircraft and Shpitzer and Ofer on the other one)  leading the mission.


Image credit: IAF

It was only after a long patrol, when the jets were already low on fuel, that the F-4s were vectored towards Egypt’s west-northwest: although the high altitude, between 20,000 and 25,000 feet, Gur was able to detect with its radar a pair of bandits down below, very hard to lock. Thanks to the GCI (Ground Control Intercept) the crews could track the two enemy aircraft and enter in the range for an AIM-7 shot, despite the ground clutter. But due to the bad weather they were unable to see their wingman, so Shadmi and Gur decided not to lunch the Sparrow.

Just few seconds later the two F-4s’ crews identified the two bandits as a couple of MiG-21s and immediately engaged them: one of the MiG disappeared, while the other Fishbed stayed for a 1 vs 2 combat. The North Korean pilot was very good and, despite the fact it was alone against the two Kurnass (plus the two 119 Squadron F-4s which were flying overhead), tried to slow the speed in a dogfight attempting. But the two Israeli fighters maintained high speed, they got into missiles launch position and Shadmi and Gur launched an AIM-9D. After a second, they launched another Sidewinder which was followed by a third AIM-9D launched by Shpitzer and Ofer from the other Kurnass.

All the missiles exploded very close to the MiG, but the Fishbed continued flying. At this point, the Israeli Kurnass were already low on fuel and they turned east heading home. Gur looked at the MiG and while it turned west, he noticed the Fishbed was leaving a white smoke trail. Suddenly after the F-4s crossed the coastline, Gur saw the trail of a SAM and then an explosion at 20,000 feet, where before there was the MiG-21: Egyptians shot down one of their aircraft!

The pilots knew only when the war ended that the MiG-21 belonged to North Korea, while after the Kurnass landed, Shadmi and Gur shared the kill with Shpitzer and Ofer because they were notified that the MiG had crashed. But the crews told what they saw and in fact later it was confirmed by the IAF Intelligence that the Egyptian Air Defense Force shot down one of their Fishbeds.

F-4 formation

Image credit: IAF

Today the 69 Squadron Hammers is based to Hatzerim Air Base flies and it the powerful F-15I Ra’am (Thunder) which replaced since 1998 the mighty F-4 Kurnass.

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Video: Flying the mighty F-4 Phantom (and dropping some bombs at rocks in the Aegean Sea)

In 2012, the 338 Sqn “Ares” of the Hellenic Air Force celebrated its 60th anniversary. The event was marked also with an interesting video that includes F-4 Phantom cockpit footage as well as some cool images of the Greek combat planes dropping bombs at rocks, small deserted islands in the Aegean sea.