F-4 Phantom II Wild Weasel Units in Combat
...from Osprey Publishing
Title: F-4 Phantom II Wild Weasel Units in Combat
Author: Peter E Davies
Number 147 in the Combat Aircraft series from Osprey, this one looks at the operational story of a classic jet in a very specialist role, the F-4G variant of the Phantom, the Wild Weasel version. A 96-page soft-cover book in the usual style of the series, with archive photos and great artwork throughout.
An interesting reminder in the introduction that while we generally think of SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defences) and DEAD (Destruction of Enemy Air Defences) really began in WW2 with things like the deployment of 'Window' to confuse enemy radars. In Vietnam the new threat from SA-2 SAMs led to aircraft dedicated to the task, the first of the Wild Weasels, based around the F-100 and then the F-105 before we got to the transfer of that role to the F-4 Phantom. It details initial issues with trying to fit the equipment into the F-4C/D before telling us more of the story with the use of the role specific F-4G variant. As well as the development story there is then a well detailed account of their deployment and operations during the Gulf War and the Southern and Northern 'Watch' campaigns as well. Plenty of individual accounts from the crews that flew them, and how the enemy radar operators adapted to cope with the threat that the Weasels posed to them. During the war itself, they worked in hunter-killer pairs alongside F-16C partners.
The text is interesting reading while the section of 24 super colour profiles, which have detailed descriptions in an appendix, illustrate the transition of camouflage colours from the early SE Asian multi-colour scheme, through the European Lizard pattern and finally the later use of greys. Great value and a handy reference for modellers as well as Phantom fans.
Thanks to Osprey for the sample.