The Japan Air Self-Defense Force held a public farewell event for the F-4 Phantom II in late 2019 as it marked the final chapter for its legendary reconnaissance ‘Rhinos’.

THE ICONIC AND muchloved McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II fleet of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) is very much in its final throes. The latest phase of the drawdown took the form of a huge public farewell event held over the weekend of November 30-December 1 at Hyakuri Air Base — the last bastion of Japanese Phantoms — located northeast of Tokyo. The primary focus for the event was to hold a public farewell for the reconnaissance-configured RF- 4E/EJs of 501 Hikotai (501 Squadron).

A stunning two-tone blue RF-4E taxies out at Hyakuri in December.

The JASDF’s 140 heavily upgraded F-4EJ Kai air defense Phantoms were first delivered from 1971, and included the last ever F-4 off the McDonnell Douglas production line. Japan’s industrial expertise enabled 127 F-4EJs to be built under license by Mitsubishi.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below