Super rare footage of the soon-to-be-retired ROKAF F-4E Phantom jets flying at Suwon Air Base.
Suwon Air Base, in South Korea, is one of the last airfields all around the world where you can get a chance to watch some F-4 Phantom combat aircraft still flying. Located about 20 miles to the south of Seoul, Suwon is the homebase of the 10th Fighter Wing, the parent unit to two squadrons equipped with the KF-5E/KF-5F/F-5F (the 101st and 201st Fighter Squadrons) and the 153rd Fighter Squadron, flying the F-4E Phantom.
Only 13 F-4Es and about 20 F-5s are believed to be still in service at Suwon AB and our friend Misael Ocasio Hernandez went there to shoot some footage of the Phantoms and Tigers flying their daily sorties there. According to Misael, during the three days he spent near the airfield, (Feb. 27 – 28 and Mar. 2, 2023) the F-4Es were pretty busy, flying twice each day. Each mission included four to six Phantoms.
Phantom operations at Suwon were halted for about three months last year, after an F-4E of the 153rd FS crashed into the Yellow Sea during a mission on Aug. 12, 2022. Both crew members managed to eject from the aircraft after experiencing an engine fire. The ROKAF Phantom should be retired from active service later this year, after a 46-year career: the first of 94 Phantoms were inducted into active service in 1977. The service also operated the F-4D and RF-4C which have already been retired, respectively in 2010 and 2014. Both the F-4E and the F-5 fleets will be replaced with F-35A Lightning II, FA-50 Golden Eagle and KF-21 Boramae combat aircraft.