PHOTO FEATURE | 24 IMAGES
The legendary F-4E Phantom II is one of the most iconic combat aircraft in the world. It is a tried and tested airframe having fought in the Vietnam War and Arab-Israeli conflicts. The Hellenic Air Force received the F-4E Phantom II in 1974 and had since served more than 40 years in various squadrons and 36 aircraft were upgraded in the early 2000s in an Avionics Upgrade Program. The upgrades transformed the aircraft from a second generation fighter into a very capable third generation aircraft. One of the most significant upgrades are the enhanced BVR capabilities with the AIM-120 AMRAAM and APG-65GY radar system replacing the old AIM-7 Sparrow. In addition to that, all upgraded aircrafts were painted in the “Aegean Ghost” color scheme.
After the upgrades, the Hellenic Air Force F-4E AUPs are the most capable Phantoms in the world as of now. The aircraft had proved to be very reliable since its delivery to Greece with little major incidents in more than 40 years of flying. It is expected that the Hellenic Phantoms would continue to fly the skies above the Mediterranean and Aegean seas for many years to come.
Here, we have images of two Phantoms from the 338 Fighter Bomber Squadron taken at Tactical Weapon Meet 2017 in Florennes Air Base in Belgium.
1. F-4E Phantom II (01534) Taxiing out to the runway
2. F-4E Phantom II (01534) Taxiing out to the runway past hardened shelter
3. F-4E Phantom II (01534) Taxiing out to the runway
4. Both Phantoms lined up at the end of the runway ready for takeoff
5. Starting it’s takeoff roll with maximum power
6. F-4E Phantom II (01534) on rolling for takeoff on runway
7. F-4E Phantom II (01512) awaits clearance for take off
8. F-4E Phantom II (01512) hurtles down the runway with full afterburners
9. Distinctive smoke trail of the J79 engines as Phantom 01512 pulls up after getting airborne
10. Both Phantoms of the 338 MIRA airborne
11. Left bank by one of the 338 MIRA Phantoms after launching from Florennes Air Base during Tactical Weapon Meet 2017
12. Hellenic Air Force 338 MIRA F-4E Phantom II (01534) front quarter view
13. Hellenic Air Force 338 MIRA F-4E Phantom II (01534) rear quarter view
14. Hellenic Air Force 338 MIRA F-4E Phantom II (01512) front view
15. Hellenic Air Force 338 MIRA F-4E Phantom II (01512) close up front view
16. Hellenic Air Force 338 MIRA F-4E Phantom II (01512) Weapon Systems Officer
17. Both F-4E Phantom IIs of the Hellenic Air Force 338 MIRA participating in the Tactical Weapon Meet 2017
18. Drogue chute deployed as the Phantom lands back at Florennes Air Base
19. Hellenic Air Force F-4E Phantom II (01534) with drogue chute deployed as it slows down after touching down at Florennes Air Base
20. Side profile view of Hellenic Air Force 338 MIRA F-4E Phantom II (01534)
21. The crowd gathers as one of the Phantoms taxis past after landing
22. Weapon Systems Officer take a selfie with the crowd
23. The old and the new, a formation of 2 Phantoms and 2 Eurofighters flies overhead as one of the Eurofighters breaks.
24. The old and the new, a formation of Phantoms and Eurofighter flies overhead as they return to base during Tactical Weapon Meet 2017