McDonnell F-4L Phantom II

Last revised December 28, 1999

The designation F-4L was given to a number of advanced versions of the Phantom that were proposed to the Navy in 1963-64. However, none were ordered into production.

The best-known of these configurations was known as Model 98FOA by the company, and called for the aircraft to be powered by Rolls Royce RB.168-25R Spey turbofans and to be armed with either six Sparrow III missiles or two Phoenix long-range missiles. The increased power made available by the Spey would make the Phantom capable of being operated from smaller aircraft carriers which had previously used the Vought F-8 Crusader for defense. However, any advantages offered by the more powerful engine of the F-4L were deemed to be outweighed by the additional cost and by considerations of commonality. The F-4L project was abandoned before anything could be built.


  1. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920: Volume II, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1990.

  2. McDonnell F-4 Phantom: Spirit in the Skies. Airtime Publishing, 1992.

  3. The American Fighter, Enzo Angelucci and Peter Bowers, Orion, 1987.