McDonnell Douglas F-4E 2020 Terminator - Turkish Air Force Modernization

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Would you like to see this jet as a premium unit? (From my end, I would like to see it as a Premium)
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McDonnell Douglas F-4E 2020 Terminator - Turkish Air Force Modernization

The F-4E 2020 Terminator represents a significant leap forward in the capabilities of the Turkish Air Force. This comprehensive upgrade enhances the venerable F-4E Phantom II with modern Turkish-made weapons systems, showcasing Türkiye’s commitment to self-reliance and advanced military technology.

Background
With a storied history dating back to the 1960s, the F-4E Phantom II has been a pivotal player on the global stage of air combat. Serving multiple nations and seeing numerous conflicts, the Phantom carved out its place in aviation history as a versatile and rugged aircraft. Türkiye’s decision to upgrade this aircraft stems from a strategic imperative to leverage existing assets while infusing them with cutting-edge technology to maintain relevance in modern aerial warfare. The 2020 Terminator program is the Turkish Air Force’s ambitious initiative to retrofit these fighters with state-of-the-art systems.

Strategic Importance
The ability to exert air superiority and conduct precision strikes is paramount in a region marked by dynamic security challenges. The F-4E 2020 Terminator’s enhanced capabilities contribute significantly to deterrence, and the demonstration of Türkiye’s advancing aerospace industry serves both a strategic and diplomatic purpose.

Upgrade Overview
The 2020 Terminator upgrade, realized by Turkish Aerospace Industries in collaboration with ASELSAN, constitutes a multifaceted improvement over the aircraft’s original design. It touches every aspect of the aircraft’s systems, bringing its avionics, armaments, and electronic warfare systems into the 21st century.

Avionics:
The modernized multi-mode pulse Doppler radar extends the aircraft’s detection range, allowing it to lock onto and engage targets from greater distances. Integrating a Hands-On Throttle-And-Stick (HOTAS) system enhances pilot control, minimizing response time during high-stakes manoeuvres. Color Multifunctional Displays (MFDs) replace outdated gauges, providing pilots with real-time data visualization for improved situational awareness.

Armament:
The Terminator’s weapons suite has been revolutionized with a mixture of Western and indigenous munitions. Long-standing armaments like the AIM-9X Sidewinder are joined by Türkiye’s own precision-guided munitions, such as the SOM cruise missile, capable of striking strategic land and sea targets with formidable accuracy. The UAV-230, a domestic innovation, represents the pinnacle of Türkiye’s missile development, offering supersonic ballistic delivery of a range of warhead types over substantial distances. The BOZOK, MAM-C, MAM-L, and Cirit missiles exemplify Türkiye’s expertise in laser guidance and smart munition technology, enabling the Terminator to engage and defeat a broad spectrum of target profiles with unerring precision.

Electronic Warfare:
To contend with the contemporary battlefield’s electronic warfare environment, the F-4E 2020 Terminator incorporates an advanced Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system for rapid threat identification and an Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) suite to confound hostile tracking systems. Moreover, chaff and flare dispensers have been integrated to provide decoys against incoming missile threats, enhancing the aircraft’s survivability in hostile airspace.

Operational Capability:
The F-4E Phantom II, transformed by these integrated systems, emerges as a multirole platform capable of dominating beyond-visual-range air-to-air engagements and precision ground-attack missions. It can operate in complex electronic warfare environments and deliver various ordnances based on mission requirements, making it a flexible asset in the Türkiye Air Force’s inventory.

Significance:
The F-4E 2020 Terminator project is a hallmark of Türkiye’s aerospace ambition and its push toward defence autonomy. By retrofitting and modernizing its Phantoms, Türkiye maximizes the value of its existing fleet while also establishing a foundation for future indigenous aircraft development projects.

Munitions Details:
The advanced, indigenous Turkish weaponry integrated into the F-4E 2020 Terminator underlines a significant shift toward self-reliance in defence technologies. Each munition type brings unique capabilities that enhance the platform’s lethality:

  • UAV-230: A domestically-developed ballistic missile, this supersonic weapon delivers high-precision strikes at long ranges, challenging enemy defences with its speed and reduced radar cross-section.
  • BOZOK: The versatility of this laser-guided munition makes it ideal for engaging both stationary and moving targets with high precision, ideal for close air support.
  • MAM-C/L: These smart micro munitions are designed for tactical flexibility, allowing for precision targeting in complex engagement scenarios, from anti-armour operations to counter-insurgency roles.
  • Cirit: A highly accurate laser-guided missile system designed for low collateral damage, Cirit is adept at striking soft and lightly armoured targets with pinpoint accuracy.
  • SAGE Munitions: TUBITAK SAGE, Türkiye’s leading defence research and development institute, has contributed a range of munitions enhancing the Terminator’s operational capabilities across various domains.

Conclusion:
The upgraded F-4E 2020 Terminator is a testament to Türkiye’s determination to retain a competitive edge in aerospace and defence technologies. The integration of modern avionics, armaments, and electronic warfare capabilities ensures the aircraft’s continued relevance in modern air combat, and its presence in the skies serves as a deterrent in a strategically complex region.

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Your Opinion:
What is your perspective on the modernization of legacy military aircraft?

Sources:

  • Turkish Aerospace Industries and ASELSAN official releases.
  • Defense analysis articles and whitepapers.
  • Air Force operational records and press statements.

We invite you to join the discussion below and share your views on the implications of the F-4E 2020 Terminator’s introduction into modern aerial warfare.

6 Likes

Definitely a tech tree vehicle.
I’d rather not spend $80 for this jet.

1 Like

Greg Kittinger’s Model displays both the armament and targeting pod.


2 Likes

Where would it go tho? Definitely not US or Italy. Israel then, since it helped with modernization? Tbh hard to tell where should it go

+1

I could see it it going to Israel, but why not the US?

1 Like

Because the only connection with US would be the base of the vehicle which is F-4E airframe. Almost all internals got changed and only engines stayed the same. Not to mention the new weapon systems and other stuff not relevant to US.

maybe a an Israeli event/squadron vehicle? complicated slightly by the existence of the Kfir C.2 but it might work.

Terminator would probably end up at rank 8 anyway

1 Like

since the presumably inferior Kurnass 2000 is already there yeah, most likely a rank 8

1 Like

I guess F-4E 2020 Terminator (Early) before upgraded by Turkish Aerospace Industries might be early premium pre-order pack to rank 8 for USA or Israel, or for future Turkey tech tree

1 Like