SUBJECTS >> OPERATIONS >> Vietnam War
SUBJECTS >> WAR >> Vietnam
AIRCRAFT >> FIGHTERS >> F-4E
"Phantom Going Downtown" is a drawing of an USAF F-4E Phantom II "going downtown" to bomb Hanoi. Early Phantoms were armed with 4 Sparrow and 4 Sidewinder missiles. It had a maximum capacity of eight missiles. On bombing missions, the F-4 often carried two electronic countermeasure (ECM) pods in place of two Sparrows, which limited its defensive capability to six missiles. F-4Es were armed with a 20-mm cannon as well as 4 Sparrow and 4 Sidewinder missiles. Many pilots preferred guns over missiles because enemy aircraft could not outmaneuver the guns or jam it with ECM pods. Missiles often needed a patch of blue sky to lock onto its target. Guns only needed to be pointed in the right direction. The F-4E Phantom II used its gun very effectively against enemy aircraft and ground targets.