Evolving aircraft and engine technologies, as well as advancements in avionics, have resulted in a new generation of fighter aircraft. In order for an air force to remain survivable in such an environment it must face the necessity of either acquiring new aircraft or upgrading its fleet. Today, acquisition of new aircraft may not be an economically or politically viable solution. The newest aircraft, those with a thrust-to-weight ratio exceeding 1 to 1, generally exceed $20 million, exclusive of support costs. Politically, sale of such state-of-the-art aircraft to friendly countries may not be possible given the current FX aircraft export policy, and the fiscal posture of the country. However, there is an alternative to new aircraft acquisition, and that is functional modernization: the modernization of potentially viable systems through the implementation of new and available technologies. The Boeing Military Airplane Company and Pratt & Whitney have teamed in the newest aircraft functional modernization proposal, the F-4 Super Phantom. The full modernization package includes a new centerline conformal fuel tank, new digital avionics, and re-engining with new PW1120 engines. This paper examines the initial feasibility study conducted by Pratt & Whitney and Boeing to determine the feasibility of a functionally modernized F-4.

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