USAFE Phantoms Part 2 – Wild Weasels and Recce

In the second instalment of this two-part article, Doug Gordon looks at United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) Wild Weasel and recce Phantoms and their role in the 1991 Gulf War.

The F-4G was the last Phantom variant to serve with the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE).  A development of the F-4E, the mission of the ‘Wild Weasel’ and the 52nd Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) at Spangdahlem Air Base in West Germany was the suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD).

The internal gun carried by the F-4E was replaced by AN/APR-38 radar, homing and warning (RHAW) equipment, enabling the aircraft to locate and identify radars and attack them using its own weapons or to direct other aircraft.  The system was later updated to the AN/APR-47. 

The principal suppression weapon of the F-4G was the AGM-88A High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM).  It could also carry the AGM-78 Standard ARM in addition to the AGM-65 Maverick missile and a variety of bombs plus AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-9M Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.  The ALQ-131 ECM pod was also integrated onto the jet.

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