The last “ghost” — Japanese air self defense force f-4ej “ghost” II Fighter ends combat flight

Recently, the Baili base of Japan’s air self defense force held a farewell ceremony for the f-4ej “ghost” II fighter of the 301 flight force, which indicates that the “ghost” II Series fighters serving in the air self defense force since 1972 will completely end the combat flight. In the 1950s and 1960s, Japan successively imported and produced f-86f “Saber” and f-104j fighters from the United States. The former solved the problem of the existence of Air Self Defense Force fighters, while the latter enabled the air self defense force to have supersonic fighters for the first time, which could quickly reach the intercept point in intercepting operations to identify and intercept Soviet high-speed fighters. < / P > < p > however, with the advent of the Soviet Union’s MiG-23 fighter, tu-22 bomber and other new generation supersonic fighters, and the frequent failure of Japan’s newly equipped f-104j fighter, Japan’s air self defense force began to consider the selection of new generation fighters. In 1968, Japan chose the most advanced F-4E “ghost” II fighter of the United States as the imitation object. This is a two seater heavy fighter jointly equipped by the US Navy and air force. It has the ability to launch the “sparrow” medium range air-to-air missile, realizing the beyond visual range interception operation. In addition, the close combat performance of the machine is also strong. After the F-4E ghost II fighter was introduced by Japan, its model was f-4ej. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan began authorized production in 1972, and the 301 flight team of Baili base of air self defense force became the first unit equipped with this type of fighter. Like the f-104j fighter, the United States limits the ground attack capability of the f-4ej fighter. In the design drawings delivered to Japan, the ground bombing equipment and air refueling equipment supporting long-range operations are deleted. On May 21, 1981, the last f-4ej fighter came off the production line, the last of the “ghost” series fighters. < / P > < p > the f-4ej fighter has an advanced interception radar system, with a maximum flight speed of Mach 2.27, a high altitude interception radius of 1226km and a low altitude operation radius of 795km. It can carry four aim-7e / F “sparrow” medium range air-to-air missiles and four aim-9l / P “rattlesnake” short range air-to-air missiles, and its combat capability exceeds that of the previous two generations of fighters. After the aircraft’s service, the air defense circle of Japan’s air self defense force in the North has been expanded. At noon on September 6, 1976, Soviet pilot berenko defected in his mig-25p high-altitude high-speed interceptor. The Japanese air self defense force immediately ordered the f-4ej fighter to take off and intercept the Soviet aircraft, but the mig-25p used low altitude and high speed flight, and the f-4ej fighter without downward looking / downward firing capability lost its target once when it reached the intercept line. After returning to chase, mig-25p had already disappeared and landed at Hakodate civil airport in Hokkaido, Japan. This incident made the United States and Japan deeply realize the power of the new Soviet fighter, and Japan decided to start the imitation production of the next generation fighter as soon as possible. < / P > < p > at this time, although the f-4ej fighter was not equipped with troops for a long time, the air self defense force still decided to upgrade it and replace it with fire control radar system with downward looking / downward firing capability, so as to unlock its attack capability, so that it can not only carry bombs to carry out ground attack missions, but also carry domestic anti-ship missiles to carry out sea control combat missions. < / P > < p > the upgraded f-4ej fighter model is f-4ej Kai, “Kai” means “change” in Japanese. A total of 96 f-4ej fighters of the air self defense force have reached this upgrade standard. How about the flight performance of f-4ej? Japanese media once interviewed honger Murakami, the 23rd chief of aviation staff of the air self defense force, who was the captain of the 301 flight team and had flown f-4ej fighters. He said that it is difficult for the aircraft to operate at low altitude and low speed, and sometimes rollover accidents occur, but the high-speed performance is good. “When the aircraft reaches Mach 2.2 in the cockpit, it has a real feeling of flying a fighter.”. < / P > < p > after entering the 21st century, as the Japanese air self defense force began to equip a new generation of f-15j / DJ fighters on a large scale, the f-4ej fighters began to withdraw from the front line of air defense, mainly cooperating with the F-1 and F-2 fighters made in Japan to carry out sea control operations. After the end of the cold war, the main combat direction of Japan’s Air Self Defense Force shifted from the north to the southwest, and its opponents changed from the old MiG fighter to the new Sukhoi fighter, and even the fifth generation stealth fighter. Therefore, the old “ghost” was deeply unable to cope. < / P > < p > in 2019, all f-4ej fighters of the 302 flight team of the Baili base of the Japan Air Self Defense Force will be retired, and the whole flight team will be transferred to the sanze base, becoming the first flight team equipped with f-35a stealth fighters. At the same time, the 501st reconnaissance flight team also completed its mission in Baili base. Its rf-4ej tactical reconnaissance aircraft retired earlier than f-4ej fighter, and will be replaced by RQ-4 “Global Hawk” UAV in the future. < / P > < p > the 301 flight team of Baili base of air self defense force has been undertaking the task of pilot training. When all f-4ej flight teams are withdrawn, the flight team will lose its meaning of existence and end the combat flight history of f-4ej fighter in November 2020. < / P > < p > the f-4ej fighter was once the main force of Japan’s air self defense force, and it was equipped with 8 flight teams in its heyday. Now, time has changed, East Asian airspace has been the sky of five generations, and “ghosts” have finally withdrawn from the stage of history.