It hadn’t been the RAF’s first choice of type, but the Phantom moved from stopgap strike, ground attack and reconnaissance jet to become a successful air defence fighter in a multi-role career spanning nearly 25 years. Dr Kevin Wright explains.

A pair of 29 Sqn FGR.2s – XV412/H is leading, with XV485/W as wingman.
Key Collection

In April 1965 the British government struck a major blow to the RAF’s procurement programme that ultimately led to the service acquiring the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II.

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