Bear Hunters

Aviation author and former RAF navigator Dave Gledhill provides insight into how the RAF operated its F-4s against potential air adversaries

Racing low over the Falkland Islands, two FGR.2s of 1435 Flight, XV472/F (Faith) and XV406/D (Desperation) display a full combat load, with four AIM-9L Sidewinders, four Skyflash, centreline SUU-23/A gun pod and ‘Charlie Fit’ fuel tank configuration. (Key Collection)
The author prepares for a training sortie at RAF Wattisham. (Crown Copyright 1977)

It may come as a surprise that the RAF’s Phantoms were operated mainly in the air defence role, with ‘mudmover’ units handing their mounts to ‘fighter’ squadrons as the Jaguar entered service.

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