12 August 2009

Despite the fact that the McDonnell Douglas F-4M Phantom II had the designation FGR.2 in RAF service (indicating fighter, ground attack and reconnaissance roles), only about 30 of the Royal Air Force's Phantom FGR.2s were actually reconnaissance-capable, having been modified to carry what was called the Phantom Reconnaissance Pod.

Built by EMI, the pod was based on a 500-gallon external tank, was 24 feet long, and weighed 2300 lbs. It contained five optical cameras, an infrared linescan unit, and a high-definition SLAR (sideways looking airborne radar). The film from the cameras could be developed inflight and theoretically ejected to ground forces to facilitate interpretation and dissemination.

Source: McDonnell Douglas F-4K and F-4M Phantom (Warpaint Series No. 31) by Steve Hazell. Hall Park Books, p33-34.

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