The many issues of the F-4F Phantom family (rant)

The F-4F was a mainstay of the Luftwaffe, and it is terribly represented in-game. Here are my problems with each of the F-4F variants that I believe need addressing.

F-4F
The main version of the F-4F, it is missing both its triple Maverick mounts and and more pertinently AIM-9Ls. The Mavs AFAIK have never been addressed by Gaijin, but they have talked about the missing AIM-9Ls. These missiles were omitted for balancing reasons, which was reasonable at the time- no fixed-wing aircraft had AIM-9Ls at the time, and top tier was only 11.3. This was also before the nerf to the AIM-9L’s flare rejection. But that was years ago, and now AIM-9Ls are common and the F-4F is not even close to top tier anymore, so there’s no reason to have this aircraft have a mostly fictional top missile while lacking its main one.
So the F-4F urgently needs the ability to carry 6x AGM-65B and 4x AIM-9L, with an appropriate BR increase to 11.0 where it will be more accurate as well as more enjoyable and more capable of countering the PD radars and all-aspect equipped fighters it encounters anyways. Plus, this could potentially mean the AIM-9Bs are removed from the aircraft and the Fs, Es, and Js are moved up in the modifications tree- currently the F-4F is stuck with AIM-9B/Es until RANK IV, making for an awful stock grind.
Now I’m sure there will be those who argue AIM-9Ls would warrant 11.3, and I’d agree - if the F-4F could carry Sparrows. But with only 4 9Ls and no BVR, the F-4F isn’t on par with the Kurnass 2000 and its 6x 9Ls or Python 3s (plus LGBs and 65Ds, it’s more of strike aircraft), nor the extremely maneuverable JA-37D with 6 9Ls, nor the Tornado with excellent radar, 4 9Ls, and 4 superTEMPs. Heck, beyond the many subsonic busses around 10.3 with 9Ls there’s the AJS-37 at 10.7 and the F-5 FCU at 11.0, both of which demonstrate that all-aspect missiles alone don’t mean that an aircraft is automatically 11.3. Not to mention the R-60M in numerous 11.0s, though that is of course inferior to the 9L (though typically found in higher numbers and on more capable airframes).

F-4F ICE-LA
This is the ICE without AMRAAMs, instead adding AIM-9L(I)-1 (9M copies), AGM-65D/G, and LGBs. You can see the suggestion here.
Every nation has at least one CAS aircraft at 12.0 or higher- except Germany. This aircraft would be perfect to alleviate this pretty massive shortcoming, and should have been added last year, around the time Britain, USSR, and Italy got their gen 3 IRCCM carriers. I worry that if it isn’t added soon, people will forget about it, say it’s “DOA”, or confuse it with the LV, all resulting in this aircraft not being introduced for years, if ever.

F-4F ICE-LV
According to a recent leak list, this aircraft is coming in the next update. That’s pretty cool and a good addition, my only problem is that it’s likely all Germany will get in terms of ARH carriers, where it will be completely outmatched by F-15s, F-16s, Su-27s, JAS-39s, and the Mirage 4000 in every other tech tree. Unless there’s something like an Argentine F-16 MLU- then there’s no problem with the ICE-LV assuming it’s a bit lower BR than 4th gens with ARH.

F-4F early
I don’t have strong opinions on this aircraft since it’s an uncommon event vehicle. However, it still features ahistorical AIM-9Js which also keep it at a BR where all-aspect missiles are common, while it still hasn’t any countermeasures. Losing the 9Js and a BR decrease to 10.0 or 9.7 would probably be best, but not an urgent need like the fix to the late model.

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I mean, they could put it to 11.0 and give it 9Ls. That’d still make it a fine plane there.
Regarding triple mavs, there is zero evidence that load was ever used in the Luftwaffe. Though I do understand the problem with disregarding historical accuracy for AAMs and then strictly holding onto it for the AGMs. Kind of two faced tbh.

An 11.3 F-4F would have me stop playing it cause I’d just go play the Kurnass 2000 instead.
Giving the F-4F AIM-9Ls would be unironic DOA, not sure why you or anyone else would beg for it to be 11.3.
R-60Ms are FAR worse than 9Ls…
Sorry, but no. Your suggesting would make German fans suffer.

Then have that as the one with AIM-9Ls instead, and let us playing Germany keep our meta F-4F.

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Basically there’s no evidence that German Phantoms ever used the triple mount. The F-4F originally had no ability to use Maverick, the Germans then integrated Maverick as part of their 1980 weapon system upgrade programme, but there’s no evidence that they integrated the triple launcher. Every photo of an F-4F only shows it with single launchers, and no textual sources mention the triple launcher being integrated.

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This is probably the best way to solve this “dilemma”. Just keep the F4F at 10.7 with its aim9Js and implement some more F4F ICEs with varying loadout options at different BRs — F4F ICE-LA at BR 11.0/11.3 and the F4F ICE-LV at BR 11.7/12.0 or higher. However potent the AMRAAMs are actually gonna be on the live server.

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There is no technical reason why they couldn’t be used however. It’s just that they weren’t purchased

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I beleive that is the main reason why neither Germany or Italy have been given PGMs yet for their Tornados is because there isnt suffecient evidence that either nation bought them. Even though intergration is obviously possible.

Gaijin can sometimes be highly perticular on what loadouts were possible and other times disregard it altogether

The F-4F is decidedly not meta. 9Js are good missiles but the F-4F lacks the maneuverability of an F-5 or J35 to use them well. In the end it’s an F-4 without the thing that makes the F-4s effective- BVR capability. With the majority of battles being at the premium-induced black hole of 11.3, being incapable of front-on attacks by IR or SARH missiles is a huge disadvantage. At 11.0 (not 11.3, your fixation on 11.3 is irrational) with AIM-9Ls, the F-4F would be much more versatile without being overpowered. It’d still face primarily 11.3s but would now be more capable of taking down those aircraft (especially inexperienced players in premiums), but it’s still only 9Ls that can be defeated by a single flare if the opponent is paying attention.
Plus, keeping a vehicle “meta” shouldn’t be an excuse to keep it inaccurate. War Thunder’s biggest strength is the accuracy and fidelity of its vehicles, and the game should try to uphold that value.
Additionally, if the ICE-LA was 11.0/11.3, then either that’s incredibly broken or it too would be missing its primary missile armament, the AIM-9L(I). I’m assuming you mean the latter.

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I dont have issue with the premise of giving the F4s their IRL loadouts (god how I’d love the FGR2 to get AIm-9Ls). But I think its worth mentioning that at 11.0 you may just end up getting pulled into the void that is 12.0 matches. I’ve been spading the Jaguar IS recently and basically most matches are full uptiers (i’d love 9Ls for the Jaguar Gr1A as well… but id fear its BR increase). WIth more F-20 equivalent premiums likely around the corner… it could just get worse.

That would be my only concern about the 9Ls…

AGMs though… Yeah I cant see any harm for that, even if they were single and not triple mount varaints. It would give Germany a big boost in the fixed-wing CAS loadout

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9Js are the best rear aspect missiles in the game.
It has the maneuverability of F-5E with vastly more speed.
BVR is not meta at 10.7 or 11.0.

With 9Ls it’d be 11.3, we already know this. It’d face primarily 12.0s as there’s no limit.

F-4F is better with 9Js than 9Ls.

Correction
PL-5Bs are

Or Magic 1, if you go by load factor it can pull

True, I forgot about the 5Bs cause I haven’t used them in half a year; thanks for the reminder.

Honestly I think that it’d handle uptiers better than currently. In my experience 12.0 matches are still predominantly 11.3 premiums. The F-4F would of course be helpless in a dogfight against and F-16, but it isn’t much of a dogfighter in the first place and at least with 9Ls it’d be pretty effective in the initial convergence.

I also fully support 9Ls for the FGR.2. There are actually a number of F-4s that could use slightly upgraded missiles (J-1 for the E, P-4 for the EJs) as well as new Phantom variants (N, E ANG, S '84) that could be added with 9Ls.

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F-4F (late) in germany tech tree not buff add new Air-to-Air & Air-to-Ground armament

I predict F-4F ICE-LA would be 11.7 or 12.0 BR (Air AB, Air RB & Air SB) abd 12.0 BR (Ground RB) before F-4F ICE at rank 8

F-4F ICE LV under F-4F ICE or in folder with F-4F ICE before EF-2000 Typhoon DA5 or EF-2000 Typhoon Tranche 2 Blk.2

No, that’d be the PL-5B or Magic. The AIM-9P also slightly outperforms the J because of its radar-slaving, as does the RB24J. The R-13M1 also arguably outcompetes the J.

No, it doesn’t. It’s an F-4 with the same performance as the F-4E. In fact, the F-4F is slightly heavier- 18,196kg empty with 20min fuel vs 18,027kg.

Perhaps not. But what definitely isn’t is a heavy twin-engine fighter with only rear-aspect missiles. Radar missiles are the greatest strength of the F-4 family, with the AIM-7E-2/Skyflash DF in particular being extremely capable in mid-range engagements. The F-4F has nothing for this engagement range, and only guns for the front aspect period.

Simply, no. The JA-37D is decidedly superior with its agility and 6 9Ls, as is the Kurnass with 6 9Ls or Pythons. And the F-4E FCU is 11.0 with P-4s and Pythons plus it’s manueverability, and the AJS-37 is even 10.7 with 9Ls.

ICE-LA for 12.0 because 9L(I)s, and its speed advantage over the Harriers, ICE-LV probably 12.7 assuming no IRIS-T.

And the thing is the F-4F is already the “late” configuration. The F-4F simultaneously received Maverick support, countermeasures, and AIM-9Ls. Keeping the current configuration in the tree as well as the correct one would be alright, but it wouldn’t change the fact that the current configuration is simply inaccurate.

For F-4F in germany tech tree, I just hope gajin add AIM-9L on F-4F and increase max BR to 11.0 (Air AB, Air RB & Air SB) it’s enough

F-4F ICE basic at 12.3 BR only ?

Idk F-4F ICE LV would be 12.7 or 13.0 but none helmet mounted display (HMD)

JA-37D being OP is not an excuse, that and its maneuverability was hardcore nerfed a while back.