F-4E Phantom II

 

Egypt received the 36 F-4Es  under the Peace Pharaoh project as a reward from the USA after signing camp-David peace agreement. The first batch of 18 fighters arrived at Cairo-west AFB in the 14th of October 1979 in a large ceremony which was attended by the late Egyptian president Anwar EL-Sadat. Most of the Phantom pilots were expert Egyptian Mig-21 fighter pilots who were mostly aces from war with Israel and as coincident the first Egyptian pilot to be trained and assigned to fly the Phantoms was Ahmed Atif who was the first Egyptian pilot to shoot down an Israeli F-4E Phantom in the 9th of December 1969 with 2 AA-2D Atoll missiles. The Egyptian Phantoms were not new ones but they were ex-USAF Phantoms which have been taken from the 31st TFW based at Homestead AFB. They were initially operated by two squadrons (Nos 76 and 88, also quoted as Nos 88 and 89) of the 222nd Fighter Regiment. When they entered the EAF service they received a two-tone gray paint job and sported orange panels for identification. The F-4Es were assigned the all-weather beyond visual range air defense missions using its AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles and as a secondary mission ground attack and close air support with its AGM-65 Maverick and MK-82 bombes. Initially the Egyptian crews and technical suffered a lot transforming from simple technology as the one used on Mig-21 and even the more modern Mig-23 to advanced and complex technology as the one used on the F-4Es and in the beginning of the eighties Egypt couldn’t raise as much as 9 fighters and there was some suggestion that Egypt sell its fighters to Turkey but large American support and training programs improved the figure and the EAF could raise all its fighters to operational statues. After the arrival of F-16s in 1982 Phantoms primary mission was changed from air defense to ground attack and close air support. In 1988, seven more ex-USAF Phantoms were provided to Egypt. There were no further Phantom deliveries, since the Egyptian Air Force has decided to acquire large numbers of F-16 Fighting Falcons as its primary fighter aircraft. Now Egyptian Phantoms are operated from Cairo-west AFB where they are assigned to number 76 and 78 fighter squadrons of the 222 tactical fighter brigade. Egypt is looking for a large upgrading contract to provide the aircraft with new avionics and electronic systems.

 

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F-4E Phantom II

 

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