Hunter F6 War Thunder

The F6F-5 Hellcat is a rank III American fighter with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB) and 3.7 (RB/SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27, starting out as the F6F-3 Hellcat and was remodeled and updated to the F6F-5 Hellcat in Update 1.65 'Way of the Samurai'. The Grumman F6F Hellcat was used extensively in the Pacific Theater of WWII. The F.6 Hunter is doomed to an eternal pit of obsolete hell. Because it's pretty much terrible at the BR it fights at, but those missiles are too ridiculous on the down tier. If the Hunter was only fighting 9.3-9.7 it would be more forgiving, however you try fighting an F.6 Hunter in an 8.7, that would just be obscene. Jan 05, 2020 Ok so before all the salty MiG21 and F4C players that get clapped by SRAAMS start commenting the statistics and saying dEr SrAaMs ArE oP, Look at the actual flight performance of the Hunter F.6 Pros: Good energy retention Guns are effective at close range Extremely good rockets A. In War Thunder, the highly anticipated Lightning will be a new jet fighter, arriving at rank VI of the British aviation tree. Coming to the game in the form of one of its later variants, the sleek Lightning F.6 will await seasoned British aviators in the upcoming update 1.97 as the new crowning jewel of.

Hunter F.6/FGA.9

For FSX / FSX:SE / Prepar3D, published by Just Flight
Reviewed by John Guest
April 2017



When something looks right, then it is right. A phrase often used to describe the Spitfire, and perhaps apt for that aircraft. Personally, I think it can be applied to the Hawker Hunter too, a sleek, beautiful aircraft with performance, in its day, to match. Can Just Flight's new Hawker Hunter measure up to the real thing? This review will make that judgement, but first, let's have a look at that aircraft and its impressive record.


At the end of World War II and the advent of the Jet engine, aircraft manufacturers were keen to produce a fast fighter to replace the RAFs Gloster Meteors. They wanted to push the boundaries of what was known about approaching the speed of sound, and the designers at Hawker came up with the single engine, swept wing Hawker Hunter.

A relatively conventional design, the P.1067 met the 1948 specifications set down by the British Ministry of Supply for a single seater day fighter with swept wings, capable of Mach 0.94 and powered by a Rolls-Royce A.J. axial-flow turbojet engine. So, the P.1067 prototype was designed and built, taking a step forward with a single jet tail pipe and with 35 degree swept back wings. The Rolls-Royce. A.J.axial-flow turbojet engine would become known as the Avon, and the P.1067 would become the Hunter.

Hunter F6 - Tips for a Jet that

In 1953, the Hunter broke the world air speed at Littlehampton on the south coast of England, a record that would last but three weeks, and would fall to a Supermarine Swift, an aircraft that would be out of service in 1961, many years before the Hunter. Hawker had designed a great looking aircraft which would become a global sensation and would serve with the RAF for longer than any other aircraft, and that is a record that still remains today.

Hawker Hunter F.6 aircraft of the Black Arrows Aerobatic Team

The Hunter F6, as the designation hints at, was the sixth production version of the Hunter, and was first flown on 11th October 1955. It was fitted with an uprated Rolls-Royce Avon 293 turbojet engine, a revised wing with a 52 degree sweep and a 'dogtooth' leading edge and with four hardpoints. This aircraft was to be capable of Mach 1.2 in level flight and so was to be a fully supersonic aircraft. 384 of these single-seat clear-weather interceptor fighter were built, and they were the most ubiquitous version.

The Hunter FGA.9 was a ground attack aircraft, all examples of which were produced from modified F6 airframes. It had a strengthened wing, could carry 230 gallon inboard drop tanks, and a drag chute. There were other alterations as well, designed to improve the aircrafts capability as a ground attack version. There were 128 of these aircraft conversions.

The Hawker Hunter saw service with both the RAF and the Royal Navy, as well as twenty two other countries armed forces. The original prototype first flew on 20th July 1951, and very many examples of the aircraft are still flying today, over 65 years later, although not with any armed forces. The last military operated Hawker Hunters were retired from active service in the Swiss Airforce in 2016. Some Hunters remain in service as target towing aircraft etc. with various organisations such as the Airborne Tactical Advantage Company in the USA. ATAC operates Mk-58 Hawker Hunters on military tactical training roles for the U. S. Navy, Air Force and Air National Guard.

The Hunter was sold widely across the globe. The 22 countries which have operated Hunters purchased them directly from Hawkers, or indirectly from aircraft leaving the service of other nations. With about 60 different home and export marks and about 2000 airframes built, the Hunter has been and continues to be a much loved aircraft all over the world.

The F.6 main armament was four nose mounted 30mm Aden Cannons with side pods to collect the empty shell cases prevent them from becoming ingested into the engine. These were nicknamed 'Sabrinas' after a popular and well-endowed glamour model of the time. The FGA.9 could also carry under wing bombs and rockets.

Availability and Installation

The Just Flight's Hawker Hunter is currently available from Just Flight as a download only product. It is priced at £24.99, or the equivalent on currency cross rates. The installation process requires you to log in to your Just Flight account to verify the product and then the installation process is intuitive and seamless. The single downloaded file allows you to install this model into Flight Simulator X (Acceleration, Gold or SP2 required), FSX: Steam Edition or P3D v3/v2/v1.

There is a professional quality paint kit available for download from Just Flights web site, its zip file is 331MB in size, and is a collection of layered PDF images which allows for the repaint of the Hunters airframe, its droppable objects, and its canopy. I can see that this will be very useful given the Hunters wide international use.

F.6 XG232 banks away showing of her gun ports and her 'Sabrinas'

Model Features

The Just Flight Hunter features both the F.6 and the FGA.9 variants in great detail with multiple animations including but not limited to:

The correct landing gear sequence;
True to life flap actions;
Accurate airbrake functions;
Realistic canopy movements;
Realistic animated pilot;
Detailed engine fan is visible through the intake mouths;
Flap recess and gear well detail;
Boarding steps, wheel chocks, and pre-flight flags;
Ground Power Unit; and
13 liveries covering British and overseas air forces.

Configuration Panels

Outside the installed Hunter and FSX, there is a small utility which allows the user to choose between realistic castor nose wheel with differential breaking as steering, or a steerable nose wheel. Inside the sim, there are switches which allow you to change various aspects of the aircraft. There is a ground power switch which, when turned on, causes the battery cart to appear and allows the aircraft to be started with external power, there is a switch to show or hide the pilot and a third switch to show or hide the chocks, tapes and engine covers.

Visual Appearance

The F.6 was designed as fighter/interceptor and entered RAF service in that role. The FGA.9's were not made from scratch but were all converted F.6 aircraft. The external differences are minimal, however, noticeable on the FGA.9's tail pipe, there is a pod and fairing over the top of the rearmost section of the tail pipe. This houses a braking parachute that is deployed on landing to slow down the aircraft. The F.6 and other F.6 derivatives had no such fairing or pod.

Black Arrows F.6 tail with the engine glowing at full throttle for take-off

The Hunter's tail pipe is relatively long, and there is no afterburner. The glow of the engine is deep within the fuselage, and is an effect that is well modelled on this model. The FGA.9's parachute pod is animated, and the deployment of its breaking parachute is reproduced well.

Having displayed the tail differences between the F.6 and the FGA.9 above, note the detail on both the external, and internal tetures on the aircraft. This is typical of the attention that has been paid to the rendering of the aircraft. The level of detail is just as good on the Black Arrows aircraft, however its sleek glossy black finish makes it harder to pick out in the screen shot.

You can see from the picture above, and from the screenshot in the animations and special effects section of this review, the breaking parachute deployment is very well modelled, and even includes the drogue chute behind the main parachute. Below is a close up of the pilot and cockpit. Note the superb detail on the ejector seat.

More detail is hidden in the depths of the aircraft, when engine isn't running, the detail of the compressor fan is visible. When the engine is running, the blades appear to turn and blur. In fact, there is detail wherever you look, the inside of the undercarriage wells are well detailed, as are vents, hydraulics, and riveting.

Hunter F.58 G-PSST Miss Demeanour's undercarriage well detail
Hunter FGA.9 XF414 of 20 Squadron RAF with air brake deployed

Internal Model

Try to find the definitive Hunter cockpit, and I guarantee that you won't be able to. Hunters were in service so long that cockpits were tinkered with, added to, rearranged and personalised to such an extent that after that all that time in service, you would be hard pressed to find two alike.

Below left is a typical 'real life' cockpit, and below right is that of the Hunter F.6 from the flight sim model. As you can see from the screenshots below, there is a very strong correlation between the two. I am happy that the Just Flight Hunter is a highly accurate reproduction of the real cockpit.

The cockpit is well presented with very fine detail on every aspect. Most, but not all, switches work, both in terms of actual switch function, and the systems they operate. I have a couple of niggles with the switches - I couldn't get the flaps switch to work with my mouse no matter how I tried. However, it correctly mirrored an action from keyboard or from a mapped command to joystick button perfectly, so the issue was with the switch operation via mouse click. Also, I had a problem with the switch that removes the pilot. This worked intermittently, sometimes it would remove the pilot but most times it didn't work. Another issue I had was with the air brakes, again the switch didn't appear to work. However, this issue was different, as although clicking on the switch bought no animated response and no change in the tool tip which constantly read 'Air Brake (shut)', despite this appearance of inaction, the air brake did deploy. Having no change in the switch position, or the fact that the tool tip gave no reliable information on the true air brake status, was not helpful at all.

Realistic dependencies exist within the switched functions, as an example, the start button cannot be used until its guard us flipped up. There is also a choice of cockpit lighting, normal panel lighting and green UV lighting, which provides a softer greenish light to the cockpit, less intrusive than standard lighting.

A 2D popup panel is supplied for payload selection. The choice of clean, external tanks, bombs (FGA.9 only), and rockets is selectable via a rotary switch, and there is also a simple switch which enables the choice between a cold & dark or a ready to fly. The 2D popup selector panel is styled in the same way as the main cockpit and is a great way to implement this sort of thing, but would be better if it were also accessible from the cockpit in the same way as, say, the show/hide pilot switch, but is, instead, available from the menu bar.

Models and Liveries

There are two basic models included in this package, the F.6 and the FGA.9. The F.6 was built for the RAF, but was sold overseas with slightly different specifications as requested by the customer under different marks. Some examples are: the Indian Air Force bought 160 Mk.56 aircraft, essentially F.6 aircraft but with a slightly different Indian specification. The Swiss Air Force bought 100 Mk.58 aircraft, all based around the RAF's F.6 aircraft, 12 of which were actually conversions from ex-RAF F.6 aircraft. The Royal Saudi Air Force purchased four F.60 aircraft that were all converted F.6 aircraft.

The FGA.9 was initially built for the RAF, converting existing RAF F.6 airframes. India purchased a few FGA.56A aircraft, which were converted FGA.9 aircraft changed to meet Indian specifications. All of these marks are included with this add on.

The F.6 comes in six liveries, all bar one are RAF, the exception being an aircraft in Royal Netherlands Air Force colours. There is an F.56 Indian aircraft, two F.58 aircraft, one in Swiss colours (above) and the other in the privately owned, G-PSSD 'Miss Demeanour' (above), and an F.60 Saudi aircraft. There are two RAF liveries for the FGA.9, and one FGA.9 in Rhodesian Air Force colours.

Front : Saudi Hunter F.60. Left: Blue Diamonds Hunter F.6. Right : Rhodesian Air Force Hunter FGA.9
Right: Indian Air Force F.56 Hunter Thunderbirds Aerobatics Team. Centre: RAF Fighter Training School F.6 Hunter. Left: 92 Squadron RAF F.6

There is something for everyone in the set of liveries provided, both civil and military, RAF marks and for overseas variations.

Animations and special effects

The Hunter has all the animations you would expect from a high end product, realistic undercarriage movement, with animation that correctly mirrors the opening and closing sequencing of the individual wheels. The braking parachute is well implemented, and comes complete with opening pod doors and drogue chute. All the usual animated control surfaces are included, and many others besides.

Hunter FGA.9 landing with braking chute deployed


The sound set is very good indeed. Details abound, and include the characteristic loud thump as the nose wheel locks closed. A fantastic engine start sequence with clearly audible engine igniters, and a loud buffeting sound audible as a stall approaches. Also, there is that signature Hunter howl, caused by the airstream across the gun ports as particular speeds. Advancing the throttle at first produces little change in engine note, it takes time to spool this engine up, but it comes, and after that so realistic lag present in early jet engines, the engine note starts, whine and then roar. All in all, a comprehensive and convincing sound set.

General Characteristics and Performance

So, what is it like to fly? I always set up my aircraft in the flight sim to be as realistic as possible and so it was in this condition that I started my testing. I tested the aircraft in a 'clean' condition as this is the most easily measurable configuration.

The engine start sequence is good, with the igniters firing and the surge at the engine lights up, taxi was good with a careful balance of throttle and differential braking, then engine takes a while to respond to throttle commands as did the real Rolls Royce Nene, so good taxi speed is best found with patience as over cooking the throttle will result in a surge-brake style which wouldn't do in front of the CO.

Brakes on at the runway end, and with the throttle at maximum, wait for the engine to spool up, it takes a few seconds, and when the power is fully on, the nose dips against the brakes, release the brakes, and start the take-off run. The aircraft will take to the air at about 145 kts, and the undercarriage will need to be up at 250 kts to avoid damage. I found that at full throttle as speed increased, there was a tendency for the nose to pitch up after take-off, and so closing the throttle was advisable once unstuck. If allowed itto continue, the upward pitch of the nose would result in a flat stall and still being low the end of your flight. This tendency was an issue in some Hunter versions.

Once stabilised in normal flight, flying the Hunter is easy with gentle control movements required for normal flying. There is plenty of room on the controls for combat flying if you want to throw the aircraft around the sky. However, be careful not to be too brutal or you may put the aircraft into its high speed stall. The stall is forewarned by a loud buffeting sound, and once in a stall I found recovery to be fairly simple, but height loss during recovery was reasonably large. She will travel at over 600 kts when low but best cruise is about 480 kts. The Hunter will go through the sound barrier and reach Mach 1.0 in a shallow dive, so I tested this and found that it did, but it needed a long but shallow full power dive to do so.

Flaps are required for landing only, however the air brake and throttle should be used in the first instance to reduce speed, followed by 35 degrees of flaps. At 250 kts, the undercarriage should be lowered, but be aware that this will cause the air brake to go in automatically. Reduce speed to 160 kts and the full flaps should be applied, with touchdown speed being 130 kts. Then it's a case of throttle off and parachute and/or brakes depending on the mark of aircraft flown. She is a fairly easy aircraft to fly.

War Thunder Fighter Hunter


The Just Flight Hawker Hunter has a single 30 page manual, there is an introduction to the aircraft and its history, but most of the manual is focused on the purchased product rather than the real aircraft. I seem to say this in all my reviews, and I say it again, Just Flight's documentation is second to none in my opinion. At no point does the manual lapse into a reproduction of a real-world manual, as so many add-on producers seem to do. The manual covers an introduction to the Hunter, notes on installation, a full guide to all of the aircraft's panels and systems, notes on flying the Hunter, and a full set of procedures from pre-flight cockpit checks, through to a shutdown procedures guide. The manual is comprehensive, and contains all you need to know to get the best from the product without having to wade through a load of excess material which is of casual interest. If you want a huge amount of information on the real aircraft, buy a book.

To get the most from the Hunter it is worth spending 15 minutes or so reading the manual from cover to cover. It does a good job of describing the install and uninstall processes and has a step by step guide to the instrumentation, procedures, and the little things that add authenticity to the aircraft, like access the ground external power source etc. This is followed by a how to fly section and then a set of checklists. All good reference material.

Value for Money

The Just Flight hawker Hunter is very reasonably priced at £24.99. It is by no means Just Flight's most expensive product, which makes it even more worth the money. This add-on was pure joy to fly and I was impressed by the simplicity of the methods of configuration. It is great to fly and allows you to fly in different configurations, some setups for what would be high level missions, others for low level work, and a good few other possibilities as well. I have no hesitation in endorsing the price as good value for money.

Simulator Performance

I tested the Just Flight Hawker Hunter on a high-end PC. It performed very well throughout my review flying and had no sign of any frame rate slowdown whatsoever when encountering complex scenery. Performance was excellent at all times, and I cannot fault this add-on in this respect.

Virtual Reality

This is my first review that contains an evaluation of an aircraft in terms of its use with VR. I spent some time flying this aircraft with an Oculus Rift VR set, looking at some specific aspects that would be of interest when using a VR headset.

Will this add-on actually work in a VR environment? I am pleased to say it does, once settled into the seat, you get a sense of the cramped conditions a pilot was faced with in the Hunter cockpit, all switches dial and levers had useful hints pop up as the mouse cursor rolled over them, and all the control labelling was clear.

Flying the Hunter in VR was easy, apart from the switch issues that I mentioned earlier, it is hard to feel around for a mapped switch if the cockpit one is not functioning properly. Apart from that, it was easy to fly the aircraft using the virtual cockpit instrumentation and controls. In VR it is always a good idea to map the throttle, joystick, wheel brakes and rudder to hardware, but then the rest of the controls of the aircraft should be available from within the cockpit. The Hunter allowed this to be done easily. The only thing that was not readily available from the VR cockpit was the load out controls popup panel, as this has to be accessed from the view menu which is not easy to get to whilst in VR. Pilot show/hide, tapes, chocks and ground equipment toggles are all controllable directly from the cockpit and so presented no problem other than the switch issues outlined before.

The Just flight Hunter is a worthy addition to anyone's VR flight simulator stable.

Technical Requirements

This Just Flight Hawker Hunter's specified technical requirements are as follows:

Flight Simulator X (Acceleration, Gold or SP2 required), FSX: Steam Edition or P3D v3/v2/v1;
2.5GHz or any Dual Core;
2.0GB RAM;
512MB graphics card;
Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista / XP; and
825MB hard drive space.

Review Computer Specifications

The specifications of the computer on which the review was conducted are as follows:

Intel i7 6700K Skylake 4.00GHz overclocked to 4.6GHz;
NVidia GTX970, 4GB;
16GB, DDR4, 2133MHz;
Windows 7, (64bit);
Lockheed Martin Prepar3d Flight Simulator v3 and;
Microsoft Flight Simulator FSX Acceleration.
Reliving Flight Lieutenant Alan Pollock's Hawker Hunter Tower Bridge incident

Brits Hunter F6 SRAAM Missile BUG - War Thunder

Verdict and Scores

The Just Flight Hawker Hunter F.6 & FGA.9 is great value for money, even though there a few gremlins in the cockpit. No doubt these will be fixed by the developer in due course. The Hunter is a lovely addition and yes, it's yet another winner from Just Flight.
Highly detailed and quality textures Cockpit switches issues External Model9.5
Multi configurable No direct access to load-out panel from cockpit Internal Model9.0
Thorough documentation Sounds10
Fantastic value for money Flight Characteristics (does it fly by the numbers)10
Serious and fun liveries Flight Dynamics (does it feel like what it looks like)10
Value for Money10

The Just Flight Hawker Hunter is awarded an overall Mutley's Hangar score of 9.8/10,
with an 'Outstanding' and a Mutley's Hangar Gold Award.

Product Link

An F-4G with WW payload; near to far: AGM-88 HARM, AGM-65 Maverick, ALQ-119 ECM pod, AGM-78 Standard ARM and AGM-45 Shrike, circa 1981.
Wild Weasel patch. The letters at the bottom stand for 'You gotta be shitting me.'

Wild Weasel is a code name given by the United States Armed Forces, specifically the US Air Force, to an aircraft, of any type, equipped with anti-radiation missiles and tasked with the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses: destroying the radar and Surface-to-Air Missile installations of enemy air defense systems.[1][2]'The first Wild Weasel success came soon after the first Wild Weasel mission 20 December 1965 when Captains Al Lamb and Jack Donovan took out a site during a Rolling Thunder strike on the railyard at Yen Bai, some 75 miles northwest of Hanoi.'[3]

Hunter F6 War Thunder Helmet

The Wild Weasel concept was developed by the United States Air Force in 1965, after the introduction of Soviet SAMs and their downing of U.S. strike aircraft over the skies of North Vietnam.[4] The program was headed by General Kenneth Dempster.

Wild Weasel tactics and techniques began their development in 1965 following the commencement of Operation Rolling Thunder during the Vietnam War, and were later adapted by other nations during following conflicts, as well as being integrated into the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD), a plan used by U.S. air forces to establish immediate air supremacy prior to possible full-scale conflict.[2] Initially known by the operational code 'Iron Hand' when first authorized on 12 August 1965, the term 'Wild Weasel' derives from Project Wild Weasel, the USAF development program for a dedicated SAM-detection and suppression aircraft. The technique was also called an 'Iron Hand' mission, though technically this term referred only to the suppression attack before the main strike.[5]) Originally named 'Project Ferret', denoting a predatory animal that goes into its prey's den to kill it (hence: 'to ferret out'), the name was changed to differentiate it from the code-name 'Ferret' that had been used during World War II for radar counter-measures bombers.

In brief, the task of a Wild Weasel aircraft is to bait enemy anti-aircraft defenses into targeting it with their radars, whereupon the radar waves are traced back to their source, allowing the Weasel or its teammates to precisely target it for destruction. A simple analogy is playing the game of 'flashlight tag' in the dark; a flashlight is usually the only reliable means of identifying someone in order to 'tag' (destroy) them, but the light immediately renders the bearer able to be identified and attacked as well. The result is a hectic game of cat-and-mouse in which the radar 'flashlights' are rapidly cycled on and off in an attempt to identify and kill the target before the target is able to home in on the emitted radar 'light' and destroy the site.

The modern term used in the U.S. Armed Forces for this mission profile is 'Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses', or SEAD.


Wild Weasel I[edit]

The Wild Weasel concept was originally proposed in 1965 as a method of countering the increasing North Vietnamese SAM threat, using volunteer crews flying the two-seat F model of the F-100 Super Sabre; while the United States Navy primarily relied upon the A-4 Skyhawk.[6][7] While an effective airframe, the F-100F Wild Weasel did not have the performance characteristics to survive in a high threat environment. The first Wild Weasel squadron was the 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron based at Takhli Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand. After 45 days of operations against North Vietnamese targets, the 354th had one airplane left and of the 16 aircrew members, four had been killed, two were POW's, three had been wounded and two had quit.

Wild Weasel II and III[edit]

The Wild Weasel II version was the first unsuccessful attempt to use the F-4C as a Wild Weasel platform. When that effort failed, the Wild Weasel role was then passed to the F-105F in the summer of 1966. The F-105F was converted for the role and was designated Wild Weasel III. The F-105F was equipped with more advanced radar, jamming equipment, and a heavier armament. Anti-radiation missiles were outfitted that could seek out radar emplacements. The F-105F Wild Weasel airframes were eventually modified with improved countermeasures components in a standardized configuration and designated the F-105G. The F-105G was also designated Wild Weasel III; 61 F-105F units were upgraded to F-105G specifications. Although in some documentation the F-105F was referred to as an EF-105F, that designation never existed in the operational flying squadrons.[8]

Wild Weasel IV[edit]

The F-105 was no longer in production by 1964. With severe combat attrition of the F-105 inventory, the need for a more sophisticated aircraft resulted in the conversion of 36 F-4C Phantom II aircraft, designated F-4C Wild Weasel IV. The F-4C Wild Weasel IV was also not designated as an EF-4C.[further explanation needed]

Wild Weasel V[edit]

The F-4E, the most advanced Phantom variant with extensive ground-attack capabilities and an internal gun, became the basis for the F-4G Wild Weasel V (also known as the Advanced Wild Weasel). This modification consisted of removing the gun and replacing it with the APR-38(t) Radar Homing and Warning Receiver (later upgraded to the APR-47), and a cockpit upgrade for the back seat to manage the electronic combat environment. A total of 134 F-4G models were converted from F-4Es with the first one flying in 1975. Squadron service began in 1978.

F-4Gs were deployed to three active wings. One was stationed at George AFB, Victorville, California, as part of the Rapid Deployment Force; one wing was assigned to USAFE (US Air Forces in Europe) at Spangdahlem AB, Germany; and the other to PACAF (Pacific Air Forces) at Clark AB, Philippines. F-4Gs from George AFB, Clark AB and Spangdahlem AB saw combat during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, successfully protecting strike packages from enemy air defenses. During this conflict the F-4G saw heavy use, with only a single loss: an aircraft from Spangdahlem AB crashed in Saudi Arabia while returning from a mission, after one of the AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missileshang fired which left the aircraft's instruments not displaying the correct altitude information and a significant frame tweak from the damage made the plane hard to control. After an investigation into the loss of the aircraft which occurred during several aborted landing attempts in a sandstorm, it was determined that a fuel cell was punctured by anti-aircraft fire. The pilot and EWO safely ejected after the engines shut down when the aircraft ran out of fuel attempting to land at a forward airstrip.

After Desert Storm, some of the George AFB aircraft were assigned to the 124th Wing of the Air National Guard at Boise, Idaho, 190th Fighter Squadron. Aircraft from Spangdahlem, Clark, and the remainder from George were assigned to the 561st Fighter Squadron, 57th Fighter Wing (Active Duty) at Nellis AFB, Las Vegas. The aircraft remained in service until 1996, with both squadrons participating in frequent deployments to Saudi Arabia and Turkey in support of Operation Provide Comfort, Operation Southern Watch, and Operation Vigilant Warrior enforcing the no-fly zones over Iraq. By this time the F-4G was the last operational variant of the Phantom II in the US forces. Many of the airframes were later used as target drones and Aircraft Battle Damage Repair training aids.


An F-16CJ of the 20th Fighter Wing.

A change in aircraft design theory to stress versatile multi-role aircraft meant that the F-4G Phantom was the last aircraft in the USAF inventory specifically outfitted for the SEAD role. The Wild Weasel mission is now assigned to the F-16 Fighting Falcon, using the Block 50 and Block 52, with production beginning in 1991. The single-seat Block 50/52 F-16C is specifically tasked with this mission. The pilot now performs both the role of flying the airplane and targeting and employing against ground threats. Other aircraft, while capable of taking out anti-air emplacements, are typically tasked with other primary missions; the A-10 Thunderbolt II 'Warthog', primarily tasked with CAS missions, lacks the avionics to perform a true SEAD mission and does not carry the AGM-88 HARM.[9] The F-15E Strike Eagle, possessing advanced air-to-ground avionics but also high speed and long range, is typically tasked with 'deep strike' missions, which can include SAM installations but typically focuses on high-value targets such as enemy command & control, infrastructure and production, and likewise does not carry HARM.

The Tornado ECR variant is dedicated to SEAD missions and is currently operated by the German Air Force and Italian Air Force. The Royal Air Force used the GR4 variant to conduct similar missions utilising the ALARM missile, though they were mainly used in the interdiction/CAS role. The RAF retired the ALARM missile in 2013 and retired the Tornado in 2019.

The F-35 Lightning II is slated to gradually replace these aircraft for various air-to-ground roles, including SEAD, beginning with its introduction in 2016. Its stealth capabilities promise a significant increase in effectiveness against air-defence radars, though to maintain its lowest radar signature, its payload capacity would be limited to the internal weapons bays, reducing the number of missile site attacks per sortie. However, it can carry more or larger air to ground weapons internally than even the F-22 and is more advanced in a ground attack capacity, potentially making it the best manned aircraft for destroying sophisticated enemy air defenses.[10]

Mission tactics[edit]

F-105 Thunderchief Wild Weasel.

In 1966 over North Vietnam, Wild Weasel flights of four aircraft sometimes were led by a single F-105F/G two-seat aircraft (aided by its Electronic Warfare Officer (EWO) with his electronic receivers & analyzers) plus three F-105Ds. Sometimes two 'F's, each with a 'D' wingman, operated independently.

The Wild Weasel mission was to precede strike flights, clearing the target area of radar guided Surface-to-Air Missile threats (predominantly SA-2 'Guideline' systems), leaving the threat area last, which sometimes would result in 3.5-hour missions, before returning to Royal Thai Air Force Bases. This was achieved by turning toward the air defense site in a threatening manner, firing radar homing missiles at the site, or visually locating the site to dive bomb it. These tactics were attempted while under attack by MiGs and anti-aircraft artillery.

The F-105F did not use radar jamming devices since its purpose was to provide a decoy target, protecting the strike flights, and encouraging SAM launches that generated enough bright smoke to make possible seeing the SAM site for immediate dive bombing attack. With multiple incoming missiles in visual sight it was possible to dive abruptly or sharply break to avoid them. Failure to see the missiles approaching at three times fighter cruise speed would result in the destruction of the aircraft and failure of the mission.

Vietnam War tactics of using 'Hunter-Killer' teams,[11] where an F-4G Wild Weasel would be teamed with one or more conventional F-4E Phantoms, were improved upon with the newer equipment. The Wild Weasel would destroy missile radar emitters, clearing the way for the F-4E's to destroy the rest of the missile site using cluster munitions.

A tactic used during Operation Desert Storm was known as 'Here, kitty kitty', wherein one Weasel would get the attention of a SAM or anti-aircraft artillery site while other Weasels would then sneak up behind the site and destroy it.

In one of the Wild Weasel concept's most famous uses in military operations, five F-105Gs, using the call-signs 'Firebird 01–05', provided support for the Son Tay P.O.W. Rescue Mission, which was conducted in the early morning hours of 21 November 1970. One of these aircraft was shot down by an SA-2 surface-to-air missile, but its crew ejected safely and was rescued by the HH-53 'Super Jolly' helicopters that also participated in the raid. None of the aircraft of the raiding force protected by Wild Weasels was lost to enemy action.

Motto and traditions[edit]

The unofficial motto of the Wild Weasel crews is YGBSM: 'You Gotta Be Shittin' Me'. This appears prominently on the logo patch of some squadrons. As the story goes, this was the response of Jack Donovan, a former B-52 EWO (Electronic Warfare Officer):

This was the natural response of an educated man, a veteran EWO on B-52s and the like, upon learning that he was to fly back seat to a self-absorbed fighter pilot while acting as flypaper for enemy SAMs.[12][13]

His exact words were: 'I'm gonna fly with you, and we're gonna shoot a SAM site before it shoots us? You gotta be shittin' me!'[14]

The motto 'First in, Last out' was also used.[15]

The 'WW' tailcode of the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing and the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing derives from their Wild Weasel heritage.

See also[edit]

Wikisource has several original texts related to:Audio recordings and transcripts with comments of actual Wild Weasel combat missions over Vietnam.
  • Operation Iron Hand The US Navy equivalent to the Wild Weasel operation



  1. ^Van Riper, A. Bowdoin (2004). Rockets and missiles: the life story of a technology. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. p. 188. ISBN0-313-32795-5.
  2. ^ abHewitt, W.A. 'Planting the seeds of SEAD: The Wild Weasel in Vietnam.' School of Advanced Airpower Studies, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, PhD Thesis. May 1992. Accessed 5 October 2009.
  3. ^Walter J. Boyne. Beyond the Wild Blue, A History of the U.S. Air Force 1947–1997. p. 158.
  4. ^Davies p. 4, 5
  5. ^Iron Hand (National Museum of the United States Air Force website. Accessed 26 January 2009.)[dead link]
  6. ^Michel III p. 35
  7. ^Hobson p. 43
  8. ^LeMieux, Lawrence. 'SoWW Historian'.
  9. ^The F-16C is the only aircraft in the Air Force current inventory to use the AGM-88.
  10. ^However, it cannot carry dedicated anti-radiation missiles such as the AGM-88 HARM internally, negating much of its stealth advantage in a dedicated SEAD/DEAD role. Gates: Future Jet Supporters are Risking Today’s Troops
  11. ^Davies p. 4, 5, 64, 68
  12. ^In Their Own Words #8: Eleven Stories For Veterans Day – Lt Col Allen Lamb, USAF (ret.), (via ''), Friday, 11 November 2005. Accessed 26 January 2009.
  13. ^Dinner speech by Joe Shriber (held at the 27 April 2000 event of the Golden Gate Wing. Accessed 26 January 2009.)[dead link]
  14. ^Dan Hampton (2015), The Hunter Killers, William Morrow, ISBN978-0-06-237512-4
  15. ^Society of Wild Weasels (18 February 2005), First In, Last Out: Stories by the Wild Weasels, AuthorHouse, ISBN978-1420816204

Brits Hunter F6 SRAAM Missile BUG - War Thunder


  • Broughton, J. (1996) Thud Ridge. Imagination Transportation. ISBN1-888237-09-0
  • Broughton, J. (1988) Going downtown: The war against Hanoi and Washington Crown. ISBN0-517-56738-5
  • Davies, Peter. F-105 Wild Weasel vs SA-2 'Guideline' SAM, Vietnam 1965-73. Osprey 2011. ISBN978-1-84908-471-0.
  • Hobson, Chris. Vietnam Air Losses, United States Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps Fixed-Wing Aircraft Losses in Southeast Asia 1961-1973. Midland Publishing 2001. ISBN1-85780-115-6.
  • McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920: Volume II, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1990
  • McDonnell F-4 Phantom: Spirit in the Skies. Airtime Publishing, 1992.
  • Michel III, Marshal L. Clashes, Air Combat Over North Vietnam 1965-1972. Naval Institute Press, 1997. ISBN978-1-59114-519-6.
  • Modern Air Combat, Bill Gunston and Mike Spick, Crescent, 1983.
  • The American Fighter, Enzo Angelucci and Peter Bowers, Orion, 1987.
  • United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.
  • The Fury of Desert Storm—The Air Campaign, Bret Kinzey, McGraw-Hill, 1991.
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft Armament, Bill Gunston, Orion, 1988.
  • The World's Great Attack Aircraft, Gallery, 1988.
  • Wild Weasel Phantoms, Rene Francillon, Air International, Vol 47, No. 1, 1994.

Further reading[edit]

  • Suicide Missions: Wild Weasels, History Channel, 25 April 2006, ASINB000F6ZCLG

See Full List On

External links[edit]

  • Wild Weasel at the Wayback Machine (archived 18 October 2011)
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