F-4N Phantom II
The F-4N upgrade program began in 1970, in response to Navy concerns about the condition of the F-4B aircraft, which by that time were over a decade old and rather the worse for wear. Eventually, 228 Navy F-4Bs weere refurbished to the F-4N standard under the so-called Bee Line program. These aircraft were stripped, inspected, and completely rebuilt using new parts. The F-4N retained the thin wings, tires, main radar, and the undernose infrared search and track detector of the F-4B. The F-4B's J79-GE-8 engines were retained, though with added smoke abatment equipment. Modifications included structural upgrades to extend the fatigue life, along with a complete rewiring under which the electrical system was also upgraded. The F-4N was fitted with the slotted stabilator used on the F-4J, and their inboard leading-edge flaps were locked shut. The F-4N was fitted with Sanders AN/ALQ-126 or -126B electronic countermeasures set. The set's long antenna fairings mounted on the upper air intakes distinguish the F-4N from F-4B. The first F-4N flew on 04 June 1972, and the first rebuilt F-4N entered service in February 1973.
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