F-4EJ Kai No. 57-8356 of the 301st Tactical Fighter Squadron taking off from Hyakuri Airbase. Nov. 15th, 2017.
The F-4EJ Kai is a twin engine supersonic interceptor aircraft that was used by the JASDF from 1984 to 2021. Designed as a modernization of the F-4EJ that had been in JASDF service for more than a decade, the F-4EJ Kai featured the more modern AN/APG-66J radar alongside other features such as the J/APR-6 RWR, J/AYK-1 central computer, J/ASN-4 INS, and a new Kaiser KM808 HUD. The F-4EJ Kai used the same airframe as the F-4EJ, powered by twin Ishikawajima-Harima J79-IHI-17A engines, a license produced version of the General Electric J79-GE-17. While retaining the 20mm JM61A1 Vulcan and AIM-9L sidewinders, the F-4EJ Kai also featured newer versions of the AIM-7 such as the AIM-7F and AIM-7M as well as the domestically produced Type 90 air-to-air missile, also known as the AAM-3. For self defense, the F-4EJ Kai was equipped with AN/ALE-40 countermeasures dispensers underneath the wings and had access to the AN/ALQ-131 ECM pod. While the F-4EJ Kai looks extremely similar to the F-4EJ, it can be distinguished by the newer radome and by the presence of four antennae fairings for the J/APR-6 RWR, with two located facing rearward at the top of the tail and the other two being located facing forward on each wingtip. The F-4EJ Kai saw service in the 8th, 301st, 302nd, and 306th Tactical Fighter Squadrons, as well as with the Air Development and Test Wing (ADTW).
- Type 90 AAM (AAM-3)
- 500lb Mk 82
- 500lb GCS-1 Type I
- 750lb JM117
- 750lb GCS-1 Type II
- 2000lb XGCS-2*
- 70mm FFAR rocket (carried in J/LAU-3 or RL-7 rocket pods, 19 or 7 per pod, respectively)
- 127mm ASR rocket (carried in RL-4 rocket pods, 4 per pod)
- Type 80 Air-to-Ship Missile (ASM-1)
- Type 93 Air-to-Ship Missile (ASM-2)
- CBU-87/B cluster bomb
- 600 gallon fuel tank
- 370 gallon fuel tank
- AN/ALE-41K chaff pod
- CBLS-200/A target practice pod
- AN/ALQ-131 ECM pod
*There is some debate whether or not the F-4EJ Kai could actually use noted ordnance, but there are pictures of said ordnance being carried by ADTW phantoms
F-4EJ Kai No. 87-8411 of the 8th Tactical Fighter Squadron carrying an AIM-7M (?) at Misawa Airbase. Sept. 10th, 2006.
F-4EJ Kai No. 87-8411 of the 8th Tactical Fighter Squadron carrying 500lb Mk 82 bombs and drop tanks at Misawa Airbase. Sept. 2nd, 2007.
F-4EJ Kai No. 87-8411 of the 8th Tactical Fighter Squadron carrying CBU-87/B cluster bombs and drop tanks at Misawa Airbase. Sept. 8th, 2002.
F-4EJ Kai No. 07-8431 of the Air Development Test Wing carrying 750lb JM117 bombs.
F-4EJ Kai No. 97-8416 of the 301st Tactical Fighter Squadron carrying 70mm FFAR rockets and an ASM-1 at Nyutabaru Airbase. Dec. 3rd, 2006.
F-4EJ Kai No. 97-8416 of the 301st Tactical Fighter Squadron carrying a CBLS-200/A target practice pod alongside a drop tank at Ibaraki Airbase. Sept. 10th, 2009.
Air Development and Test Wing Phantoms
F-4EJ No. 17-8301, F-4EJ Kai No. 07-8431, F-4EJ No. 07-8429, and F-4EJ No. 77-8393 of the Air Development and Test Wing flying over mainland Japan.
Originating in 1955 as the Air Proving Group, the Air Development and Test Wing is a unit based at Gifu Airbase that is responsible for testing experimental modifications to aircraft and new prototypes. As part of their testing, the ADTW has flown several Phantoms over the years, the most notable of which is F-4EJ 17-8301, which was the very first Phantom to enter into Japanese service and was one of the two Japanese phantoms produced by McDonnell Douglas. During their time with the ADTW, the Phantoms saw several different modifications applied to them.
SAGEM Missile Approach Warning System:
In the late 90’s the ADTW conducted tests with a Missile Approach Warning System (MAWS) fitted to F-4EJ Kai No. 77-8395. The MAWS in question was the SAGEM DDM-SAMIR and it was installed on the outside of the gun fairing underneath the nose.
XGCS-2 Guided Bomb:
In the late 90’s, research began regarding a new guided bomb for service with the JSDF. This bomb would eventually become the XGCS-2, which was a 2000lb unpowered glide bomb with a tandem warhead. Unlike the GCS-1, which was an attachment to already existing ordnance, the XGCS-2 was an entirely new weapon. Allegedly, the bomb also had a sensor that would allow it to detonate above the surface of a target. Ultimately, the JSDF decided to pursue JDAMs instead, and the XGCS-2 program came to an end.
XGCS-2 Guided Bomb
*This topic is currently WIP, I’ll add more info to it as I get around to it