F-4S (1984) - Late Serving Naval Phantom

Would you like to see this plane added to the tech tree?
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters
Where should it go?
  • Foldered with the F-4J
  • After the F-4J (Rank VII)
  • Before the F-14 (Rank VIII)
  • Premium/Squadron/Gift
  • I don’t want it added
0 voters
If it is added, should the name of the current premium F-4S be changed?
  • No, leave it as F-4S and add this one as F-4S (1984)
  • Yes, change it to F-4S/E or F-4S (Early), and add this one as F-4S
  • Yes, change it to F-4S (VF-301) and add this one as F-4S
  • Yes, change it to represent an F-4J of VF-301 (or another Squadron) and add this one as F-4S
  • Something else
  • I don’t want it added
0 voters

This is a suggestion for a late-service version of the F-4S, in the latter days of it’s career and approaching the time when it would be retired. Compared to the F-4J and the current premium F-4S, this boasts AIM-9Ls and AIM-7Ms, allowing it to be a threat against the more advanced jets it would fight.


F-4S of VF-161 during the final Phantom launch from a Carrier, 1986

F-4S (1984)
Background
The F-4S was the result of a life-extension program for the F-4J, intended to keep the aircraft in service with the USN and the USMC until the new F-14 and F/A-18 were available in numbers to replace them. While no F-4S took part in Vietnam, they would nevertheless continue to be an integral part of the Navy and Marine Corps Air Component until they were finally retired; 1986 from USN Carrier Operations, 1987 by the USN Reserve, and in 1992 by the Marine Corps, ending the Phantom’s career as a carrier aircraft.

In Navy service, the F-4S was used by 12 squadrons:
VF-74 “Be-Devilers,” and VF-171 “Aces” of the Atlantic Fleet,
VF-21 “Freelancers,” VF-121 “Pacemaker,” VF-151 “Vigilantes,” VF-154 “Black Knights,” and VF-161 “Chargers” of the Pacific Fleet,
VF-201 “Hunters,” VF-202 “Superheats,” VF-301 “Devil’s Disciples/Blazing Inferno,” and VF-302 “Stallions” of the Reserve,
and VX-4 “Evaluators” of Air Development.

In Marine Corps service, the F-4S was used by 12 squadrons:
VMFA-112 “Cowboys,” VMFA-115 “Silver Eagles,” VMFA-134 “Smoke,” VMFA-212 “Lancers,” VMFA-232 “Red Devils,” VMFA-235 “Death Angels,” VMFA-251 “Thunderbolts,” VMFA-312 “Checkerboards,” VMFA-321 “Hell’s Angels,” VMFA-333 “Fighting Shamrocks,” VMFA-451 “Warlords,” and VFMAT-101 “Sharpshooters.”

The last active duty Navy Phantoms were from VF-151 and VF-161, being retired in 1986. The F-4S was retired from Naval Reserve shortly thereafter, when VF-202 retired their last Phantom in 1987. The Marines held onto theirs for a bit longer, with VMFA-112 finally retiring the Phantom in 1992, closing out the Phantom’s career as a carrier aircraft.

Specifications
Unlike other versions of the F-4, the F-4S has no “Block” number, because it was an upgrade program instead of a production change.

  • Length - 58ft 3in (17.76m)

  • Wingspan - 27ft 7in (8.41m) folded, 38ft 5in (11.71m) unfolded

  • Height - 16ft 6in (5.03m)

  • Engines - two J79-GE-10B smokeless engines
    ~11,810 lbf non-afterburning (~5357 kgf)
    ~17,820 lbf afterburning (~8083 kgf)

  • Empty Weight - 31,745lb (14399.29kg)

  • Fuel Capacity - 1998 US gal (7572.42 kg) internal, + 2x 370 US gal (1402.3 kg) wing tanks, + 1x 600 US gal (2274 kg) centerline tank
    Total with 3 external tanks - 3338 US gal (12651.02 kg) of fuel

  • Pylons - 5 external and 4 semi-recessed Sparrow mounts
    Total stores positions - 9
    image

  • Weaponry
    ----------------A2A----------------
    AIM-9G/H/L
    AIM-7E/F/M
    --------------Bombs--------------
    Mk 81 250lb (LDGP/Snakeye)
    Mk 82 500lb (LDGP/Snakeye/LGB)
    Mk 83 1000lb (LDGP/Retard/LGB)
    Mk 77 Mod 4 (Napalm)
    CBU-59/B
    Rockeye II
    --------------Rockets--------------
    Mighty Mouse FFAR
    Zuni FFAR
    ----------------Other----------------
    AN/ALE-29A - Integrated (see current F-4J and F-4S countermeasures)
    AN/ALE-37
    Mk 4 Gun Pod (with Mk 11 20mm cannon)
    ALQ-120 ECM Pod

  • Avionics
    Radar - AN/APG-59
    Weapon Control - AWG-10B
    RWR - AN/ALR-45(V)
    HMS - AVG-8 (VTAS)
    HUD

Spoiler


Cockpit of the F-4S, RWR display visible near the compass
Michael D. Davis

Conclusion
In game this aircraft would be an upgrade of the F-4J, serving as the US’ answer to the late MiG-23s and the F-4EJ Kai. It would likely play the same (or very similar) to the EJ Kai, with the main difference being lacking an internal gun and having a harder to use radar. The HUD would be a substantial improvement over the F-4E and F-4J for sim players, and the improved weaponry would be a welcome addition to air battles. Sadly, I don’t think it could mount a laser designator such as Pave Knife, so the laser guided bombs would have to wait until buddy lasing is a thing, or just have the LGBs unimplemented.
For a stock loadout, AIM-9G and (maybe) AIM-7E-2 are ideal, with a later upgrade to AIM-9H/L and AIM-7F/M. If AIM-7s are not included stock, then the AIM-7E-2 can just be ignored entirely.
Additionally, given that the F-4S premium already exists either this Phantom would need to have a unique name, such as F-4S (1984), or the premium would need to be renamed. The premium could also be downgraded to be an F-4J of VF-301 (or another Squadron), since its at the same BR as the F-4J. Said downgrade would only involve minor changes and the removal of the AIM-9H, as otherwise the aircraft are the same.
Personally, I would want the current F-4S to be changed to an F-4J due to the similarities in armament and the fact they are the same battle rating. I also think the F-4S, as in the one suggested here, would fit well as a dual-addition with the F-4E-53, which I made a post for here.

Sources

Joe Baugher’s Website, F-4S Page
NATOPS F-4J Manual
Standard Aircraft Configuration F-4S (1984)
Instruments of the F-4J/S

Gallery

F-4S of VF-74 “Be-Devilers” escorting a Tu-95 off the East Coast of the US, 1982

F-4S of VMFA-134 “Smoke,” 1987

F-4S of VMFA-333 “Fighting Shamrocks,” 1979

Two F-4S of VF-301 “Devil’s Disciples/Blazing Inferno,” 1982

F-4S of VMFA-321 “Hell’s Angels,” 1991(?)
image

F-4S of VMFA-321 “Hell’s Angels,” at NAS Miramar, aka TOPGUN, 1987

F-4S of VMFA-232, at the National Air and Space Museum
image

F-4S of the US Navy Reserve landing on USS America (CV-66), 1986. Squadron Unknown, probably VF-201 “Hunters.” Visible in the background are F/A-18 Hornets.

Thank you for reading. Please let me know if I missed anything.

6 Likes

I would recommend to keep the current F-4S as it is and folder this new F-4S with F-4J.

3 Likes

I wish we had gotten an F-4N with 9Ls as the premium and this as TT…
Such a waste to take the best American F-4 variant, give it nerfed armaments, and lock it behind a paywall.

6 Likes

Either a late F-4N or F-4D, since F-4Ds were also upgraded eventually with CM dispensers, 9Ls, and 7Fs.
Plus, lots of cool camos for either aircraft

1 Like

Potentials of F-4S (1984) would be 11.7 or 12.0 BR at early rank 8 and fill gap between F-4J Phantom II & F-14A (Early) Tomcat

F-4D armed SARH MRAAM like F-4E except no AIM-9J, GBU-15(V)1/B & AGM-65B Maverick, and equipped laser designator pods AN/AVQ-10 Pave Knife

1 Like

+1

4D, not E or J? Seems like a very outdated model to be the one receiving those weapons.
Also as an air force model the D would be in a different line than this.

Id like to see the premium F4S get it’s guided bombs & aim9l

F-4Ds and Cs were used by the reserves and national guard into the early 1990s

Also, I completely missed the second part of what you said: I was meaning an F-4D as the premium whereas the F-4S could be TT

Navy Phantoms never had guided bombs, only the AF ones did

1 Like

Hello.
I recently knew that F-4S (the premium version) only has one skin: the VF 301 (1984)
F-4S were used in more squadrons, such as VMA 321, VMFA 333, VF 151…
every F-4S in these squadrons had different color schemes. (Especially VMA 321)
So, my request was: what if in a future update, F-4S Will have more skins?
Thanks so much, (and sorry for bad english)

As an update, the WT F-4S now has marketplace skins, one from VFMA-321 and one from VMFA-212

1 Like

And sadly neither are low-vis :(