The Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) bid farewell to its fleet of F-4EJ Phantom aircraft on March 19, 2019, after 48 years of service. The final flight of the F-4EJ took place at Hyakuri Air Base in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.
The F-4EJ was a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, multirole fighter aircraft that was originally developed by McDonnell Douglas. The JASDF began operating the F-4EJ in 1971, and the aircraft quickly became a mainstay of the Japanese air force.
The F-4EJ was used in a variety of roles, including air superiority, interception, reconnaissance, and ground attack. It was also used by the JASDF’s aerobatic team, the Blue Impulse.
The F-4EJ was a highly capable aircraft, and it served the JASDF well for many years. However, the aircraft was becoming outdated, and the JASDF began replacing it with the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II in 2017.
The retirement of the F-4EJ was a major event for the JASDF, and it was marked by a series of ceremonies and events. The final flight of the F-4EJ was a fitting tribute to a legendary aircraft that had served Japan for nearly five decades.
The F-4EJ was a key part of the JASDF for many years, and it will be remembered as one of the most iconic aircraft in Japanese aviation history.
Number of aircraft: 140
- 301st Tactical Fighter Squadron “Samurai”
- 302nd Tactical Fighter Squadron
- 303rd Tactical Fighter Squadron
- 304th Tactical Fighter Squadron
- 305th Tactical Fighter Squadron
- 306th Tactical Fighter Squadron
- Hyakuri Air Base
- Komatsu Air Base
- Naha Air Base
- Nishiki Air Base
- Shizuoka Air Base
- Tsuiki Air Base
Dates of service: 1971 – 2020
- The F-4EJ was introduced to the JASDF in 1971 and quickly became a mainstay of the Japanese air force.
- The F-4EJ was used in a variety of roles, including air superiority, interception, reconnaissance, and ground attack.
- The F-4EJ was also used by the JASDF’s aerobatic team, the Blue Impulse.
- The F-4EJ was a highly capable aircraft and served the JASDF well for many years.
- The F-4EJ was retired in 2020 and replaced by the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.