The F-4 is the supersonic fighter developed by McDonnell Douglas in the U.S. for the U.S. Navy, with its first flight in 1958. In Japan, it was introduced into the Air Self-Defense Force, and manufactured and licensed as the F-4EJ. MHI is the primary contractor. With delivery starting in 1971 to the Air Self-Defense Force, a total of 140 units have been manufactured to date. In this plane, the multiple seats are arranged lengthwise, and this style is used by the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force, and by various countries in the world. Approximately 5,200 units have been manufactured.
The Japan Air Self-Defense Force received 154 Japanese F-4EJ Phantoms including the final Phantom built worldwide. All Japanese F-4EJs are optimized for the air defense role and used to equip six interceptor squadrons. In total 96 F-4EJs have been upgraded to the F-4EJ "Kai" (new) standard and will serve the JASDF well into the new millenium. For recce 14 RF-4EJs have been received, later boosted with 17 F-4EJs converted to reconnaissance Phantom as RF-4EJ-Kai.
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