McDonnell Douglas Phantom FG1 (Nose section only)


AIM-7 Sparrow/Skyflash missiles carried in tandem pairs, two forward and two aft, in recesses on the underside of the fuselage. AIM-9 Sidewinder Missiles carried on rail launchers attached one on each side of both inboard weapons pylons. The centreline station can carry a 600 (US) gallon fuel tank, bomb carrier, or SUU-23/A 20mm gun pod. Missile control is by radar – AN/APG-60 or AN/APG-61 for the FG.1 and FGR.2 respectively. The radar set locates and tracks airborne targets, computes information for missile launch, provides target illumination after launch, and ground mapping and ranging information when used as an attack or navigational aid. The wings and underwing pylons of British aircraft were strengthened to permit the carriage of 500/1,000lb (454kg) general-purpose bombs and specialist ground attack weapons which were generally heavier than those used by US forces.

The Phantom was also cleared to carry a single 500lb Mk 57 Special Weapon (Depth Bomb) on the fuselage centreline pylon in the nuclear ‘Strike’ role. A variety of US nuclear weapons could be carried; one B28 nuclear free-fall strategic or tactical bomb, or three B43, B57 or B61; the B43 was a parachute-retarded bomb with a low altitude release ‘lay-down’ surface burst capability.

Raytheon AIM-7F Sparrow

Medium range, semi-active radar-homing missile

100km (62 miles)

3.65m (12ft)

0.91m (3ft)

Tornado systems were not Sparrow compatible, so 74 Squadron used up remaining stocks at Armament Practice Camps 1991-92, getting through five times as many as usual.

Ford-Raytheon AIM-9D Sidewinder

Short-range passive Infra-Red homing heat-seeking missile Range: 12.9km 8 miles

2.89m (9ft 6in)

0.6m (2ft)

BAe Dynamics/Marconi Skyflash

Medium range radar-guided air-to-air missile was introduced to replace the Sparrow on RAF aircraft, to be capable of engaging fast moving multiple targets at low level and at altitude; delivered from 1977, used by Phantom units from 1978, and used concurrently with existing Sparrow stocks. Range 23 miles, speed Mach.4.

Length 12ft
Diameter 8 inches
66lb High Explosive warhead

Matra 155M 68mm rocket podsPods of 24 two-inch unguided rocketsHunting BL755 600lb Cluster Bomb

Units: each contained 100 small munitions ideal for attacks on tanks or vehicle convoys.

GAU-4/A 20mm Vulcan rotary cannon

SUU-23A gun pod housing the GAU-4/A 20mm Vulcan rotary cannon (RAF aircraft only) carried beneath the fuselage; ammunition capacity over 1200 rounds, enough for about 20 seconds firing. Manufactured by General Electric, it is a rapid, high-velocity weapon for air-air and air-ground work, it was sometimes felt to be too accurate, the pilot having to ‘hose’ a target using the aircraft’s controls.

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