Starting in 1973 the Japan Air Self-Defense Force received 154 F-4EJ Phantoms that were based on the USAF F-4E. 138 of these aircraft were manufactured under license by Mitsubishi who produced the last F-4 Phantom II several changes were made to the F-4E to make it an F-4EJ. Basically it had any offensive weapons removed but eventually these restrictions were lifted and the aircraft were updated with missiles and the latest electronic equipment.
McDonnell Douglas F-4EJ Kai 07-8428 is assigned to the JASDF 302 Hikotai (Tactical Fighter Squadron). The squadron is scheduled to move to Misawa AB in 2019 and start receiving the new F-35A Lightning II. To mark the end of the 302 Hikotai using the F-4, 07-8428 was given a special white paint scheme decorated with a large red eagle along the fuselage. The squadron logo is a tri-color white tailed eagle with the shape of the body representing the “3”, white tail “0” and blue wing “2”.
Specifications for the F-4E Phantom II / F-4EJ
They are virtually identical except for the restricted equipment: This included removal of the in-flight refueling receptacle that was later retrofitted, no leading edge slats, ground attack control equipment such as weapons and bomb delivery systems and the addition of modern electronic equipment including a data link system and radar warning receiver. Most or all this equipment was eventually reinstalled.