“……..First entering service in 1960, the Phantom continued to form a major part of U.S. military air power throughout the 1970s and 1980s, being gradually replaced by more modern aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon in the U.S. Air Force and the F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet in the U.S. Navy. It remained in service in the reconnaissance and Wild Weasel roles in the 1991 Gulf War, finally leaving service in 1996.
The Phantom was also operated by the armed forces of 11 other nations. Israeli Phantoms saw extensive combat in several Arab—Israeli conflicts, while Iran used its large fleet of Phantoms in the Iran—Iraq War. Phantoms remain in front line service with seven countries, and in use as an unmanned target in the U.S. Air Force. Phantom production ran from 1958 to 1981, with a total of 5195 built. This extensive run makes it the second most-produced Western jet fighter, behind the famous F-86 Sabre at just under 10,000 examples…..”.