«Phantom» for the Luftwaffe

Airplane P-4P — version of the fighter F-4E, specially designed in accordance with the requirements of the German Air Force. The distinctive features of this aircraft are its relatively light weight (commensurable with the weight of the R-4C — the easiest «Phantoms», designed for land use), as well as reasonable price. All this favorably distinguished German «Phantom» from his American counterparts. These positive attributes have been bought at the cost of some reduction of the combat capabilities of fighter restricted range of its combat use. However, with time the P-4P is gradually transformed into a rich modern equipment and armament Aviation Complex, which demonstrated an enviable longevity. The history of the creation and improvement of the aircraft, as we think, it is worth considering, together with the history of post-war reconstruction and development of the air forces of Germany.

Initially, the West German Air Force (Luftwaffe), began to revive in 1955 under the auspices of NATO and the United States dense custody, disposal jet fighters and fighter-bombers 1 st generation — «Sabre» Canadian (CL-13B) and Italian (Piat F-86K ) production, as well as American Ripablik R-84R and RF-84P. German naval aviation (Kriegsmarine) has at its disposal the English fighters and scouts Hawker Mk.l00 / Mk. 101 «Sea Hawk».

All these subsonic machines with relatively simple avionics designed for combat missions in daylight, perfect for combating ground targets, but in terms of the struggle against enemy aircraft are not adequately combat effectiveness.

In 1955, the German Ministry of Defence has announced its first post-war competition to develop their own — fighter-interceptor. It was attended by the company Messerschmitt, Pocke-Wulf, Heinkel and Bolkow.

Requirements for new aircraft were quite serious. The maximum speed of flight — at least M = 2.0, the service ceiling — 25000 m. The rise to a height of practical ceiling was implemented in just 3 minutes. On the plane, armed with guided and unguided missiles, required to install radar. While such characteristics could be achieved only by the combined power plant, consisting of a turbojet engine and expander. Designers were encouraged to use the British motor company NauShaps eV) — THD «Huron» and expander «Spectrum».

The winner of the competition recognizes the interceptor Neyuke! No 031, which was designed by the designer, Siegfried Gunter. Appearance of the plane striking resemblance of the MiG-21, which at that time was known to a limited circle of people in the Soviet Union under the designation E-4 / E-5. This coincidence is even more strange if we take into account the fact that immediately after the war, Siegfried Gunter was taken to the Soviet Union and until 1954 worked in the OKB-2, which was headed by another internee German — Ressing Heinz, who was deputy AY . Bereznyak. Well, in October 1951 he became deputy Bereznyak AI Mikoyan Design Bureau and headed a branch in Dubna, which has become, in the future, an independent design team («Raduga»), specializing in missile issues. Fans of conspiracy theories can make their own conclusions from this, but we will continue consideration of the history of German aviation through the prism of «Phantom.»

The Germans were not limited to this contest, and in 1956 the Luftwaffe announced yet another — on the VTOL interceptor. This competition was held for hedging French project S.450 «coleopter», which was financed Germany. Company Messerschmilt brought to him a draft Me XI -21, Focke-Wulf — Fw860, Neipkel — not 231, as Volkow — R.110. They differ in the vertical position of the fuselage during takeoff and landing. |

But «playing interceptors» suddenly ended, and it happened almost simultaneously in all countries.

The reason for the sudden loss of interest to the military interceptors served as the launch in 1957 in the Soviet Union Sputnik and Khrushchev’s statement that the Soviet Union has a ballistic missile «capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to any point of the globe.» A September 12, 1960 the first Soviet ICBM R-7, developed under the leadership of SP The Queen, entered service. However, for Germany a much greater importance was the arrival in the Soviet Army in 1956 and 1959. missiles R-5M and R-12 with a range of, respectively, 1200 and 2000 km, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, and when starting from the territory of the German Democratic Republic and Poland, to achieve the goals anywhere in Central Europe. They quickly became the main striking force of the Soviet army, against which were powerless even the most advanced «three primaries» interceptors that existed at that time only on paper.

At the beginning of the 1960s. Luftwaffe were in a difficult position. The timely replacement of the 1 st generation of aircraft (not least due to the drag is too ambitious plans of their own aircraft construction) have been made, and the existing fleet is outdated. He urgently needed to be replaced by more modern aircraft, capable of resisting the new supersonic frontline aircraft of the Warsaw Pact — the MiG-19, MiG-21 and Su-7B. At the same time the command of the Luftwaffe considered as candidates for the «Sabres» and «Tanderstrikov» a variety of combat aircraft of the 2nd generation, which combined only supersonic speeds and on-TOvskoe origin. Among the contenders for the role of the main German fighter planes P.1V were English, French «Trident» III and «Mirage» III, as well as American P11-1F «Tiger», N-156F (future F-5A) and F-104A «Starfighter «.Despite the fact that many in the Ministry of Defence of Germany preferred the French» Mirage «, in November 1958, under pressure from powerful American lobby, the government of the Christian Democrats, led by Konrad Adenauer, stop your choice on the aircraft F-104C — improved version F-104A. I must say that this aircraft is actively advertised the American and the German media as the most advanced fighter in the world 2nd generation. The efforts of the «experts» were not in vain :. March 18, 1959 was signed a contact for the supply of the first batch of the Luftwaffe «Starfayterrov.» Head fighter F-104G (G — Germany, ie F-104C, modified to the requirements of Federal Republic of Germany) flew in May 1961, and in 1962 this type of aircraft began to arrive in the West German Air Force aircraft squadrons. Total Germany (Luftwaffe and Krigs Marino) has received 916 F-104G.

In 1969, the West German Air Force had, in total, 625 «Starfighter», note 10 fighter-bomber squadrons (six of them could be called upon to deliver NATO’s tactical nuclear weapons, although their own atomic bombs at the Federal Republic of Germany, of course, was not) and four squadrons of fighter-interceptor of air defense. In addition, four of the squadron (at RF-104G) ensure the conduct of tactical reconnaissance, four were teaching and two (complete with F-104G and RF-104G) have been attributed to the school of the Air Force combat use. A dozen aircraft «Starfighter» was used for testing purposes, and another 120 are in reserve, or served as a source of spare parts for «combatant» machines. All this has led the reporters call the Luftwaffe late 1960s — early 1970s. «Air Force One plane»: in addition to the F-104G, Germany had only 235 subsonic fighter-bombers G.91 (analogues of our MiG-17), eight note and three combat training squadron.

However, the euphoria of the German pilots after adopting «the world’s most advanced supersonic fighter» quickly gave way to disappointment: F-104G disadvantages clearly outweigh the advantages. As a fighter-interceptor, «Starfighter» could compete with its main rival — the MiG-21 — only but high altitudes, essentially conceding Miguén maneuverability characteristics, but as a strike aircraft had insufficient combat load, short-range and low survivability, aggravated by the unsatisfactory takeoff and landing characteristics. However, a major drawback of this machine was its reputation «aluminum coffin,» quickly made «Starfighter» is extremely unpopular at first in the Air Force, and later throughout German society. By 1966, this plane took the lives of 65 pilots of the Luftwaffe. Only in 1965, with the R-1040 there were more than 30 disasters: the funeral ceremony at the German air bases were, on average, every 10 days! Going forward, we must say that all in Germany shattered more than 300 «Starfighter», killing 110 pilots.

Probably, in Germany, and became aware of the negative experience of combat use of F-104C in Vietnam (although the Americans have tried to silence manifested in actual combat conditions, the low efficiency of the fighter). All this prompted the Luftwaffe as quickly as possible to get rid of «aluminum coffins.» As a result, in 1969 he decided to Bonn in 1974 (ie a total of 12 years after the commencement of operation) to begin a gradual withdrawal «Starfighter» from the Air Force. Although it was motivated by the elaboration of a resource of the aircraft, it was clear that he is not satisfied Luftwaffe F-104C.

To replace the «Starfighter», it was decided to develop a promising fighter N№-75, considered as a multipurpose aircraft capable of performing the functions fighter-interceptor, and utterly destroy-telya bomber. This plan5 that were completely replaced by 1980 Luftwaffe F-104G aircraft in the fighter-bomber squadrons, and the air defense squadrons. But in 1971, the plans were revised: a promising aviation complex (which was named MRCA), it was decided to develop cooperation with a number of other NATO countries, and the aircraft was reclassified from the multipurpose fighter fighter-bomber.

As a consequence, order the Luftwaffe to the promising aviation complex was reduced to 420 units. At the same time it took to take steps for the early replacement of interceptors «Starfighter», the combat capabilities of which were, in practice, much lower than expected, with a new, more efficient aircraft. This aircraft was seen as a temporary measure that seeks to somehow maintain the quality of the German fighter aircraft until the service in the 1980-1990-ies. of a new air defense aircraft, whose face still only at the turn of XX-XXI centuries).

In the meantime, it was decided to adopt one of the Luftwaffe warplanes existing overseas development, not having the most glaring flaws inherent F-104G. First, the German experts drew attention to the Swedish fighter SAAB J-37 «Viggen» (the first flight of this machine has excellent takeoff and landing characteristics, was held in 1967). However, officially considered only aircraft, developed by the German allies of NATO. Learn French fighter-interceptor «Mirage» F.1 (flew in December 1966), as well as American aircraft: Northrop F-530 («a distant ancestor» of the current F / A-18), Lockheed CL-1200 (» ultradeep «modernization of F-104) and a single lightweight version of» Phantom. «

It must be said that the «Phantom» is different from its two US rivals, which existed only on paper and in the layout of his, so to speak, a reality: it is already a decade operated in the US military, earning a reputation as quite successful aircraft, with the development of which in Germany is not anticipated any difficulties.

Back in the early 1960s. Firm «McDonnell» took part in the work on the program IFX, which provides for the creation of the US DoD fighter focused specifically on exports. According to the plan, this inexpensive, easy to use, but has a sufficiently high flight characteristics of the aircraft had to compete with the Soviet and French light supersonic fighter 2nd generation, since the beginning of the 1960s. actively huddled in the international market the products of American aircraft manufacturers. The company «McDonnell» project then worked single, lightweight, simple and inexpensive (compared to the American «Phantoms») aircraft on the basis of F-4C. However, preference DoD was given a lighter and cheaper fighter Northrop F-5A «Fridomfayter», and then the F-5E «Tiger» II, created in the framework of international military assistance.

However, developments facilitated by «Phantom» were also in demand: in 1971, such a machine, designed on the basis of F-4E and received the designation F-4E (F), was selected by the Government of Germany as a partial replacement fighter Lockheed F-104G .

June 24th, 1971 the West German government signed a contract with the United States for the purchase of 175 fighters. According to him 10% of all the works of the German production of «Phantoms» had to be carried out in Europe. Most of the structural elements of F-4E (F), were part of the 10% manufactured by «MBB» and «Fokker» (in particular, the factory «MBB» Augsburg produced the tail unit of the aircraft), but the final assembly was carried out in the US, certainly affected the cost of production (transportation components and assemblies across the Atlantic Ocean does not come cheap).

At the same time engines J79-JE-17A for the «Phantoms» gathered in West Germany at the factory of the company «Motoren-und-Turbinenen-Union München GmBH» (MTU) in Munich, where previously issued J79 Turbojet aircraft F-104C. In total, in Munich it produced 488 engines J79-JE-17A, received the German designation J9-MT11-17A.

As already mentioned, the German side was originally intended to buy the «Phantoms» in a single configuration. However, later it was decided to purchase a double version of the aircraft, retaining, however, a simple equipment and armament single machine. Double Fighter received a new designation F-4F.

The first production machine for «Luftwaffe» rose into the air from the factory airfield in St. Louis May 18, 1973, and production of the latest F-4F was completed in April 1976. Eight (-12 according to other sources) of the first aircraft used for retraining of staff Luftwaffe in the United States. Later, seven of them ferried to Germany, and to train new pilots of the Luftwaffe (the process, it was decided to organize in the United States on a permanent basis) involved US aircraft P-4E. Remaining in the United States is the only F-4F some time been used for test purposes, but in 1982 and was «released» in Germany.

Fighter F-4F, unlike F-4F, had fuselage fuel tank N7. Wing aircraft, as well as the last F-4F, byloosnascheno slotted slats, however, the fixed slat on the horizontal tail was missing. By plane and there was no system of refueling in the air — for ultra-long flights Luftwaffe seemed irrelevant (though later this equipment yet returned to the German «Phantoms»). Planer German «Phantom» managed to facilitate 1,500 kg compared with the F-Series 4Fpozdnih. His weight was 13,300 kg, ie only slightly more than the F-4C. High tyagovooruzhen of fighter (0.76 at normal take-off weight of 21,500 kg), achieved by facilitating the design, significantly improved the maneuverability of the machine compared with the F-4E (especially with the aircraft early release, non-slat).

German fighter was equipped with upgraded radar AN / ARQ-120 (V) 5, a somewhat simplified compared to the original and has no radar mode radar illumination aerial targets required to use missiles «air-air» with a semi-active radar homing. It is automatically excluded from the «arsenal» F-4F medium-range missiles such as AIM-7 «Sparrow»

— The main weapon of the remaining istreiolokatsionnaya station could not «work» and low-altitude air targets at the background of the Earth.

The aircraft was equipped with an irradiation preduperezhdeniya capable of detecting signals only impulse radar of the enemy, which limits the range of detected targets and reduced survival in combat. That is why in the left anterior ventral recess intended to house ur «Sparrow», is now suspended container with an active station EW.

As already mentioned, in the armed aircraft missiles missing «air-air» medium-range, which greatly limited the F-4F as a fighter-interceptor. For action at air targets German «Phantom» had only a 20-mm gun M61A1 «Vulcan» and four short-range missiles with CBC AIM-9B «Sidewinder». Shock F-4F weapons included blocks NAR and svobodnopadayuschie bomb. Rockets «Bullpup» «The Shrike,» «Meyvrik» as well as KAB and UPAB on the German «Phantom» were absent.

As you can see, the original «arsenal» of the German «Phantom» in their nomenclature differed little from armament F-104G or the MiG-21, the latest modifications — the same missile melee TGS gun, «cast iron» bombs and NAR. Similarly, the Soviet frontline fighter was the purpose of F-4F: air superiority by means of air combat in the visual range and attacks on ground targets using unguided weapons.

Military experts in Germany believed that acting from their air bases in East Germany and Czechoslovakia, fighter-bombers potential enemy were able to attack from low altitude all the goals in West Germany up to the Rhine River in the first 30 minutes since the beginning of the conflict ATS — NATO . The first wave of attacking aircraft, in their opinion, had to strike at air bases, airfields dispersal, radar stations, supply bases, a large fuel depot, important nodes of communication, etc. At the same time, according to the German military, military planes of the Warsaw Pact has a very high tactical characteristics necessary for the conduct of air combat (small radius turns, rapid acceleration, a large stock of traction at low and medium altitudes, at high accelerations and more high, than the German cars, climb, and the ability to make a long flight at high speed).

When planning military operations in Germany one did not count on hitting enemy aircraft at high altitudes: all attention was paid to low altitudes, where was to turn «the battle for Germany» in the third world war. Under these conditions, a key role was played by low-altitude air defense fighter performance. But here in the first place, of course, the release of «Phantom» with its record high speed near the ground.

I must say that, in general, the West German military specialists {many of whom had experience in World War II), in contrast to its other West European counterparts, had a high opinion of Soviet aircraft and more skeptical — about the US. Consolidation of these «dissident» sentiment in the Bundeswehr contributed to the fact that in 1973, ending the war in Vietnam did not win the Americans, and Vietnamese with his «MiGs», C-75 and Kalashnikov rifles. The Germans believed that of all NATO aircraft only «Phantom» is able to withstand the MiG-21, the latest modifications. And based on the assessment of the prospects of development of Soviet fighter aircraft in the Federal Republic of Germany have concluded that the F-4F will keep a good chance of survival in combat with Soviet fighters in the period to mid-1970 ..

Recall that almost simultaneously with the F-4F, in 1972, the Soviet Union has begun mass production of the MiG-21 bis — the most advanced versions of this type of aircraft. Soon MiG-21 bis began to come into service in the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany (GSVG), adding to the MiG-21MF MiG-21SMT and other, older modification «Dvadtsatpervogo.» In 1970-ies. MiG-21 bis were the most serious potential enemies of the West «Phantoms.»

Despite the external differences, as well as the difference in size and weight, these aircraft, strangely enough, it was very close to both the nature of the tasks, and combat capabilities. Armed with only a four-bedroom, six rockets «air-air» short-range missiles (AIM-9B on the F-4F and P-AP / P-RR and P-55 — to «MiG») and gun (other weapons class «air- air «on their board just did not have), the MiG-21 bis and F-4F was designed to maintain neighbor maneuverable air combat and execution interception back hemisphere (which determines the possibility of missiles CBC). It should be noted that it was a dogfight with short-range missiles and guns has been the most effective form of the use of fighter aircraft in Vietnam, which will certainly take into account the German military in the decision to give up ur «Sparrow.»

MiG-21 bis had more than the «Phantom» tyagovoruzhennostyu at normal takeoff weight equal to 0.82 (mode of operation of the engine «full afterburner») and 0.88 — in the mode of «Fast and the Furious extraordinary.» For the F-4F, the figure was just 0.76. At the same time, «Phantom» had a higher initial climb — 250 m / s (compared to 235 m / s at the «blinking»). In the MiG-21, with its lower wing loading was higher horizontal mobility (although this advantage Soviet fighter American designers managed to cut through the use of F-4F effective «combat» mechanization of the wing).

The advantage of «Phantom» remained his great than the MiG-21, (approximately 100 km / h) top speed near the ground (corresponding to M = 1.16). About as much higher and was the absolute maximum speed of the aircraft F-4F. However, the maximum speed of the missile weapons «air-air» from the fighter F-4E and the MiG-21 was approximately equal and limited not by aircraft and missiles hanging under them, who might just fail because of aerodynamic heating. For the «Phantom» with «Sayduin-derami» it was limited, according to the instructions to the pilot of the aircraft the US Air Force F-4F (Flight Manual USAF Series F-4E Aircraft. 1979), the value corresponding to the number of M = 1.9.

The practical range of the MiG-21 bis (1210 km) is twice inferior range F-4F (although the latter lost one of their fuselage fuel tanks available to the F-4E). Bomb load lung Soviet fighter does not exceed 1300 kg, and did not go to any comparison with semitonnoy load «Phantom.» However, the application of air strikes against ground targets initially considered to the German fighter minor task.

Radar AN / APQ-120 (V) 5 installed on the F-4F, its characteristics significantly exceeded opportunities radar «Sapphire 21». However, the relatively high performance radiopritsela German «Phantom» discordant with low a range of his «Sidewinder» and presented, at first, somewhat redundant.

Initially, the main objectives for the German «Phantom» were fighter-bombers MiG-17, MiG-21 and Su-7B, as well as front-line bombers IL-28, in effect, mainly from low altitudes and supersonic Yak-28, works off attacks with an average height (m 10000 12000). Front-line attack aircraft were covered by numerous tactical fighter MiG-19 (from the Air Force German Democratic Republic, Poland and Czechoslovakia), and the MiG-21, the latest modifications. In addition, through the territory of the FRG we had to follow long-range aircraft (mainly Tu-16), marching on target in France, the UK, the Netherlands and other NATO countries. To counter all these enemies looked quite adequately.

However, in the second half of the 1970s. The situation began to change: the Soviet Air Force received a new generation of combat aircraft: fighter-bombers MiG-27 and Su-17, as well as front-line MiG-23M. And in 1979, as part of GSVG it appeared the first supersonic frontline bombers Su-24 to perform low-altitude flights in the transonic regime following the terrain. To combat such purposes have required more sophisticated aircraft systems than the F-4F with its «Sai-duinderami.»

Germany’s response to the new «threat from the East» was a program of modernization of the fleet of fighters such as «Phantom.» Due to the fact that the United States also planned to carry out works on modernization of the F-4, in 1976, it was signed by the German-American agreement providing for the implementation of the joint program, dubbed «Peace Rhine» (Peace Rain). During her envisages strengthening arms «Phantom»: the fighter returned to medium-range missiles AIM-7 «Sparrow». This allowed to even the armament of class «air-to-air» aircraft F-4F and other «Phantoms», returning German machines in the category of all-weather fighter-interceptors. This required only minor improvements weapons systems and radar. In addition, a fighter equipped with the latest high-performance short-range missiles AIM-9L, which significantly raised the possibility of «Phantom» and in close air combat maneuvering.

The modernization of the fighter finalized its radar, which received the automatic capture of most dangerous target (criterion by which determines the degree of danger, has become the target speed of convergence with the aircraft). In addition, the «Phantoms» received four cassettes, serving for shooting infrared traps. Containers have been modified active electronic jamming.

In parallel, the designers have increased the possibility of shock and F-4F, entering in the composition of its armament missile AGM-65B «Meyvrik» with television homing. In addition, the car got a new digital ballistic computer, greatly improving the accuracy of the bombing. All this has allowed to draw a fighter and to fight Soviet tanks, which, as expected, were already in the first hours of the war, «pour steel flow.»

In this regard, it should be noted that beginning in 1970 the Soviet armored forces began to rearm in the new-generation equipment that changes significantly in favor of the former Eastern bloc the existing balance of ground forces in Europe. In 1969 the construction of the CA entered «main battle tank» T-64 with a 125 mm smoothbore gun, enhanced level of security and improved speed characteristics. In 1973, this car has added T-72 (adopted on arms and other «brotherly armies»), and in 1976 a tank park GSVG started to replenish the world’s first gas turbine T-80 tanks, different from the T-64 and T-72 even higher speed and acceleration characteristics. American Journal of Armor (March-April 1990) wrote about the situation prevailing at the time: «Today we can not imagine how (hard) strike could cause the tank T-64 NATO troops in case of war. Once these weapons became known in the West, it caused the collapse of many development programs, anti-tank weapons … Tankers, NATO would have had to wage against it (T-64) on the worst battle tanks with grim results. Case T-34/76 — is not only the creation of the new tank to the Soviet Army, but also the creation of fundamentally new tank. The second time it happened to the T-64. «

The main tanks of NATO of that time (the American M-48 and M-60, the German «Leopard» 1 and the French AMX-30) in combination with existing while other antitank weapons could not seem to provide an effective opposition to the Soviet «armored wedge» on the point of which would go to the new low-profile Soviet machine with automatic loader. Out of danger (to the West), traditionally seen komanNATO situation in the broader involvement of antitank defense for strike aircraft in the first place — fighter-bombers. However, being on Luftwaffe fighter-bombers F-104G were too fast and malomanevrennymi to detect and pinpoint attacks, moving and well-protected targets, but the «Phantoms» as carriers of anti-tank missiles seemed more appropriate.

However, the task entrusted to the anti-fighter F-4F a relatively short time and already in 1988 have been removed. By this time in the Luftwaffe in sufficient quantity received Bole suitable for this role fighter-bombers «Tornado» and light attack aircraft «Alpha Jet», and re-equipped the Bundeswehr to the new tanks «Leopard» 2, entered service in 1979, and anti-tank helicopters in added-105R (RAS-1), equipped with anti-tank systems 2nd generation «Hot.»

The first stage of modernization of the F-4E began in November 1980 and was completed in the spring of 1986 has been subjected to the finalization of 156 aircraft. However, the use of modernized fighter showed that although their effectiveness and grew, but the combat capabilities of F-4F is not satisfied West military due to the limited capacity of the radar at the ground targets, low accuracy inertial navigation system and the weakness of the onboard computer (her daughter was only 64 KB ).

The command of the Luftwaffe decided to continue improving fighter. In late 1983, a specially created group of experts Luftwaffe was initsiirovananovaya modernization program «Phantom» — ICE (Improved Combat Efficiency, or increased combat effectiveness), consisting of two phases. First, ICE has been known as «Germanized» called KWS (Kampfwehr-steigerung).

In accordance with the original plans supposed to be subjected to revision only 75 F-4F from the «Fighter» squadron, but then it was decided to attach to the process of modernization of the entire existing fleet of the German «Phantom», including the F-4F, focused on decision fighter-bomber tasks.

The first phase of the program was carried out in 1988-1995 ICE’s. On machines installed a new inertial-ing navigation system Nopeu-wel H-423, made laser gyro, digital computer air data Marconi CPU-143 / A, two digital bus data exchange Mil Std 1553R and modernized station EW Litton AN / ALR-68 (V) 2. The armament was supplemented by new fighter missiles «Meyvrik» AIM-65G with thermal homing head, which allows to use SD in the dark, and the cab of the «Peyvuey» II laser semi-active homing. At the same time it has been carried out and measures to reduce fuming engines J79-MTU-17A. Flight tests of the first aircraft, modified the program ICE first phase began in July 1989 and in April 1990, they released their second test aircraft upgraded.

During the second phase of the program (1991 — 1996 years.), Of 110 «Phantom» fighter planes have established a fundamentally new radar Hughes AN / APG-65Y, the release of which has been adjusted to European concern DASA on American license (in the United States similar station sets on carrier-based fighter F / A-18A / B «Hornet»). The first flight of the first aircraft F-4F, modernized in the framework of the second phase of the program ICE, held on May 2, 1990

Radar to detect an air target with ESR = 1 m? at a distance of 50 km and had a block moving target that allows you to detect and track low-flying objects, as well as moving ground (surface) targets against the background of signals reflected from the underlying surface. It provides simultaneous support for up to eight air targets at the use of weapons by one of them.

The station was equipped with a slot antenna with a diameter of 710 mm. Weight radar (excluding frame) was about 160 kg, and the volume — 0.12 m3.

Fighter F-4F with the AN / APG-65Y has had an opportunity to apply the latest for the time medium-range missiles AIM-120B AMRAAM active radar homing. New SD placed in the field of missiles AIM-7 «Sparrow». The first starts with the AMRAAM fighter F-4F took place in September 1992 at the site of the US Navy in California.

Attention is drawn to the fact that the information-management-present field Cockpit F-4F ICE virtually unchanged from the original field of the German «Phantom» left «analogovostrelochnym.» The Germans (as, indeed, and the US Air Force) seems relatively cool evaluate the contribution of on-screen displays in general increase the combat effectiveness of the modernized aviation system. At the same time in other European countries, the US Navy, as well as Russia’s «glass cockpit» is widely introducing into the interiors of the modernized aircraft.

By October 1996 (when the program officially ended ICE) raid some fighters, past upgrades exceeded 10,000 hours. In this modernized «Phantoms» and the twilight of his «career» in the Luftwaffe used the love of the German airmen. They were described as «very easy to fly and serviceable aircraft.» In contrast to the «Starfighter», which has lost its original popularity in the decade of operation turned from the «Silver Arrow» in «Factory widows», F-4F over the years only strengthened its reputation in the German Air Force. After the «dissolution» of the GDR, the Luftwaffe got two dozen MiG-29, which was agreed to keep in service. Quite naturally, between the two planes that stood earlier on opposite sides of the «Iron Curtain» were held mock battles. MiG-29 (which no one was not surprised) they demonstrated superiority over the «Phantom» in close air combat maneuvering. The advantage of «MiG» is further exacerbated by the presence on board of his helmet targeting system, which showed a surprisingly high efficiency. It is true that Soviet «crest», known among pilots «horns», not with special features (as well as his American counterpart). It is worth mentioning that such a system was on the American «phantom» back in the 1970s., But are not «caught» and was removed from service.

At the same time, the missile «combat» to «vnevizualnoy» range advantage, according to the German pilots had «Phantom». To a large extent it was due to the presence in the arms of the aircraft missiles AIM-120 AMRAAM active radar homing, whereas the «MiG», inherited from the Air Force German Democratic Republic, carrying the older and less efficient UR P-27 semi-active homing system. Certain advantages over radar BUT 19 mounted on the «MiG», he had, according to the Germans, and the upgraded radar «Phantom.»

Generally, somewhat unusual in its composition of an aircraft fighter aircraft of Germany of the 1990s — 2000s. (consisting of the Soviet and Luftwaffe aptirovannoy the requirements of the American art) enjoyed a high reputation among the other NATO air forces, including the US fighters equipped with the 4th generation F-16A / B. The mock battles with American F-4E German «Phantom» with dumb-modernize radar is usually lost in some far-missile battle, but prevailed in a passing maneuver battle. Mixed group of F-4F ICE and MiG-29, and met with the «team» the US Air Force, flying the F-15C. According Americans advantage then left them. However, the Germans were skeptical of these findings. However, the exercises were held at the US Air Force test site, and on the words attributed to one popular historical personage, «it does not matter how they vote, but who counts the votes.»

One of the authors of this article had a chance to watch the demonstration flights of F-4F at an international air show «ILA-2000″, held at the airport «Berlin-Schönefeld Süd». «Phantom» showed then, I must say, not very spectacular program, too «smeared» in a horizontal plane. In some cases, long plane disappeared out of sight of the audience (as, indeed, and fly in front of it the American F-117). All this is more like flying Cy-7 / Cy-l 7. However, such a faded aerobatic program may have had a «political» motivated: in parallel with the «Phantom» over Shё nefeldom-fly and «Eurofighter» only just preparing to go into service Luftwaffe. The apparent clumsiness F-4F favorably shades excellent maneuverability of the new «pan-European» fighter, instilling in the hearts of taxpayers’ confidence in the necessity of re-German Air Force «Typhoon».

Aircraft type F-4E remain in service with the Luftwaffe in the XXI century., Although their number is constantly decreasing. As of May 2012, there were 21 fighter ranks of this type and only 16 crews trained to fly on the «phantom». And on June 30, 2013 has appointed a ceremony removing F-4E with the Air Forces of Germany.

In place of the «Phantoms» in 2003 are multi-role fighters Eurofighter EF2000 «Typhoon». It is planned that the Luftwaffe will receive 143 aircraft of this type.

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