The F-4 Phantoms were first seen in combat when a pair of jets were called in to bomb the Imperial Senate with laser guided munitions, reducing it to a pile of rubble in a show of force from the JSDF to the Empire. Then the Phantoms were seen provoking and testing the capabilities of the Flame Dragon and from that the pilots observed that the Flame Dragon was able to match the Phantom's speed in cruising flight. At the end of the observation, one of the pilots tried a daring assault against the flying beast and got his jet burnt from the dragon's fiery breath, forcing them to return to base, much to the chagrin of the ground maintenance officer as there weren't too many available parts at hand.
The Phantoms then played a crucial role in saving the lives of Itami and his party from a pair of the Flame Dragon's offspring. Two Phantoms engaged the young dragons with AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, grounding them, allowing for ground based artillery and TOW anti-tank missiles from an AH-1S Cobra to pummel them in succession, slaying the two beasts. Finally, during the raid on the Capital of the Empire, the Phantoms played an important role of destroying an Imperial dragon and its rider so that the paratroopers could be deployed.