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The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II [N 1] is a tandem two-seat, twin-engine , all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor and fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft . [2] It first entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy. Proving highly adaptable, it was also adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Air Force , and by the mid-1960s had become a major part of their air wings. [3]

The Phantom is a large fighter with a top speed of over Mach  2.2. It can carry more than 18,000 pounds (8,400 kg) of weapons on nine external hardpoints , including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, and various bombs. The F-4, like other interceptors of its time, was designed without an internal cannon. Later models incorporated an M61 Vulcan rotary cannon. Beginning in 1959, it set 15 world records for in-flight performance, [4] including an absolute speed record, and an absolute altitude record. [5]

As of 2017, nearly 60 years after its introduction, the F-4 remains in service with Iran , Japan , South Korea , and Turkey . The aircraft has most recently seen service against the Islamic State group in the Middle East.