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F-4F KWS LV (ICE): Arch-Phantom!

Meet the F-4F KWS LV (ICE) which represents the penultimate modification of the legendary F-4 Phantom II in service with the Luftwaffe. Featuring an upgraded radar system and ARH missile capability, the most advanced variant of the Phantom will be arriving at the top rank of the German aviation tree in the Seek & Destroy major update!

F-4F KWS LV (ICE) Phantom II: A Jet Fighter for Germany at Rank VIII


  • Excellent flight characteristics compared to other Phantoms.
  • ARH air-to-air missiles.
  • Superb versatility.
Vehicle History

In the early 1980s, the Luftwaffe initiated a program to improve the combat effectiveness of the F-4F Phantom II then representing Germany’s spearhead in air defense. Being launched due to delays in the development of what would eventually become the Eurofighter Typhoon, the F-4F ICE as it became known, was intended to fill this gap until the more advanced aircraft became available. The main goal of the ICE program was to extend the service life of the F-4F by modernizing its avionics and electronic equipment as well as upgrading its radar to enable the aircraft to carry the powerful AIM-120 AMRAAM missile.

The upgrade process began in October 1988 and was carried out in several stages. The first finalized aircraft under the new program were commissioned in the early 1990s. The F-4F KWS LV (ICE) would then continue its service with the Luftwaffe until 2013 before it was ultimately phased out in favor of its successor, the Eurofighter Typhoon.


Meet the F-4F KWS LV (ICE)!

The Seek & Destroy major update brings with it the addition of the most advanced F-4F modification ever serviced by the Luftwaffe. Featuring much expanded air-to-air capabilities and retaining its signature versatility, the F-4F KWS LV (ICE) will soon rightfully take its place among the top rank of the German aviation tree. Let’s dig deeper into the details!

Interesting: The abbreviation “ICE” highlights the aircraft’s extended capabilities and stands for Improved Combat Efficiency.

The F-4F ICE represents a linear upgrade over the base model. The main focus of the ICE upgrade on the F-4F was to install more modern avionics and electronics as well as to outfit the aircraft with a more capable multimode radar. These upgrades chiefly enable the F-4F KWS LV (ICE) to mount the new AIM-120 ARH air-to-air missile. As a result, when piloting this aircraft, you’ll be able to engage in beyond visual range combat without needing to keep the target illuminated by the onboard radar throughout the guidance process. Instead, this process is now being done by the missile itself immediately after launch.

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Furthermore, the F-4F KWS LV (ICE) also comes with the ability to carry the German domestic modification of the Sidewinder missile, the AIM-9L(I)-1, which features IRCCM and is thus less susceptible to being thrown off track by advanced countermeasures. Pilots will also have access to the AGM-65D and G missiles with infrared imaging guidance. In terms of the remaining systems found on the aircraft, they are left largely unchanged, leading to a very familiar performance envelope for pilots who have already flown the F-4F. Overall, these upgrades greatly improve the venerable Phantom’s combat capabilities, giving it the edge over opponents it will meet in the fierce air battles of the next major update!

In your matches by Scott, Community Manager: “Most pilots who jump into the F-4F KWS will already be familiar with the general handling of a Phantom at this point. The caveat with the F-4F KWS is a drastically improved radar set and your AIM-120s to make full use of that. Remembering at all times that your platform is not an agile dog-fighter, you will want to be selective with your placement early on. Your BVR capacity is excellent, so stay away from the main opening brawls and keep yourself to the sides. Focus on your AMRAAM deployment.

Once the initial clashes have taken place, you can move in closer and focus on any stragglers that got separated from the main pack with your AIM-9s. The radar does have some excellent angles to make use off at various ranges, but you don't want to be finding yourself forced into any maneuvering engagements with lightweight fighters. You are very much a supporting role fighter. Use your countermeasures scarcely and selectively as they will be your primary form of defense.”


The F-4F KWS LV (ICE) Phantom II will soon be making its way to War Thunder as part of the Seek & Destroy major update, giving seasoned German pilots access to an even more advanced weapon system. In the meantime, make sure to stay tuned to the news for the latest information regarding the upcoming update!

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