The mission for the QF-4 targeting drone is over, with the last of the converted F-4 Phantom IIs destroyed over the Gulf of Mexico.
Since 1997, the Air Force has flown 315 QF-4 drones as targets for training and weapons testing. On Wednesday, the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron operated the last of the fleet on a training mission out of Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The jet was destroyed during a live weapons testing flight, according to base public affairs.
The Air Force's new fleet of QF-16s, converted Fighting Falcons, will now take over the unmanned targeting drone role. The aircraft, converted block 15, 20 and 30 variants of the F-16, first began unmanned test flights in 2013, with the first production model arriving at the Florida base in March 2015. The service expects to field 210 of the converted jets.