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F-14 Tomcat

Carrier-based multi-role fighter

F-14 Tomcat

In the late 1970s the F-14 Tomcat was widely regarded as the most important aircraft in the US Navy

 
 
Entered service 1972
Crew 2 men
Dimensions and weight
Length 19.10 m
Wing span 19.54 m
Height 4.88 m
Weight (empty) 18.95 t
Weight (maximum take off) 33.72 t
Engines and performance
Engines 2 x General Electric F110-GE-400 turbofans
Traction (dry / with afterburning) 2 x 71.56 / 120.1 kN
Maximum speed 1 997 km/h
Service ceiling 16.2 km
Ferry range 2 965 km
Combat radius 927 km
Armament
Cannon 1 x M61A1 Vulcan 20-mm cannon with 675 rounds
Missiles AIM-54C Phoenix, AIM-7M Sparrow, AIM-9M Sidewinder air-to-air missiles
Bombs GBU-10/12/16/24 laser guided bombs, Rockeye and CBU-59 cluster bombs, Gator mines
Other Tactical airborne reconnaissance podded system

 

   During the late 1970s the Grumman F-14 Tomcat was widely regarded as the most important aircraft in the US Navy. Only the Tomcat was felt to be capable of defending the Carrier Battle Group from long-range cruise missile carriers, with its unmatched potential to fire off a salvo of up to six ultra long-range Phoenix air-to-air missiles against high- or low-flying targets, and then to deal with any leakers with AIM-9s or the internal 20-mm cannon. However, the credibility of the Phoenix has been dented by a poor showing in combat and trials, while the F-14 still cannot carry today's leading air-to-air missile the AIM-120 AMRAAM. AIM-54s fired at long range by F-14Ds in two recent, separate engagements at Iraqi MiG-25s and MiG-23s missed their targets.

   The original F-14A (which outnumbers the re-engined F-14B and F-14D) remains severely constrained by the unreliability and limitations of its TF30 engines. The Tomcat's tactical reconnaissance capability has been enhanced in recent years by the addition of a digital TARPS reconnaissance pod and by the ongoing development of real-time data-links. The US F-14 force began assuming a limited clear-weather attack capability in 1992. Since 1995 the LANTIRN laser designation pod has been integrated across the F-14 fleet, in combination with a basic bight vission compatible cockpit. Work is progressing on integrating GPS-guided munitions, including joint directed air munitions.

   The F-14 has seen combat during operations over Bosnia and southern Iraq, usually mounting combat air patrols and also flying air-to-ground and reconnaissance sorties.

   All F-14As were replaced by F/A-18E/Fs in 2003, the F-14Bs followed in 2007, and the last F-14Ds in 2008. The sole export customer was Iran, and of 79 F-14As received in the late 1970s, the IRIAF has a reported 28-30 in active service. These are based at Bushehr to protect Iran's vital oil installations. The Hawk surface-to-air missile has been integrated onto at least two aircraft, possibly as a Phoenix replacement, and there remain rumors that Iran is developing a major F-14 upgrade.

 

Video of the F-14 Tomcat carrier-based multi-role fighter

 

 
F-14 Tomcat

F-14 Tomcat

F-14 Tomcat

F-14 Tomcat

F-14 Tomcat

F-14 Tomcat

F-14 Tomcat

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