The F-4 Phantom II was a twin-engine, all-weather, fighter-bomber. The aircraft could perform three tactical air roles — air superiority, interdiction and close air support — as it did in southeast Asia. First flown in May 1958, the Phantom II originally was developed for U.S. Navy fleet defense and entered service in 1961. The USAF evaluated it for close air support, interdiction, and counter-air operations and, in 1962, approved a USAF version. The USAF's Phantom II, designated F-4C, made its first flight on May 27, 1963. Production deliveries began in November 1963. In its air-to-ground role the F-4 could carry twice the normal bomb load of a WW II B-17. USAF F-4s also flew reconnaissance and "Wild Weasel" anti-aircraft missile suppression missions. Phantom II production ended in 1979 after over 5,000 had been built--more than 2,600 for the USAF, about 1,200 for the Navy and Marine Corps, and the rest for friendly foreign nations, including to Israel, Iran, Greece, Spain, Turkey, South Korea, West Germany, Australia, Japan, and Great Britain. Used extensively in the Vietnam War, later versions of the aircraft were still active in the U. S. Air Force inventory well into the 1990s. F-4s are no longer in the USAF inventory but are still flown by foreign nations. This texture is for U.S Air Force.
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