A Nice German RF-4E Phantom II
German McDonnell Douglas RF-4E Phantom II.
The luftwaffe was one of the largest users of the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. Since the Phantom first came out, the Luftwaffe has acquired a total of 263 aircraft, 88 of them being the reconnaissance model, RF-4E Phantom II. Coincidentally, the first version of the Phantom that the Luftwaffe received was precisely the RF-4E, since they were devices directly transferred from the USAF without modifying.
First flight of the German RF-4E was on September 15, 1971. The first unit equipped with these jets was the AKG51, Aufklarungeschwader 51 “Inmelmann” based in Bremgarten. The German RF-4Es were used as day and night reconnaissance aircraft. These were equipped with 4 sets of cameras covering 180 degrees, lighting systems with flares, Infrared Recognition System (IRS), Side Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR) and APW-99 navigation radar in the nose. The last of the German McDonnell Douglas RF-4Es were delivered in May 1972.
As a curiosity we can mention that the German RF-4E, at the beginning of the 80’s, was equipped to have the capacity of ground attack by the Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm company. Finally all stock models of the German RF-4E in the Luftwaffe were retired in 1994. These were replaced by the Panavia Tornado.
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