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The F-14 was developed for: air-defence of aircraft carriers, fighter escort, tactical air reconnaissance and air-to-ground attack fighter. The F-14 Tomcat has been developed by the American company Northrop Grumman to replace the F-4 Phantom by the US Navy on the aircraft carriers.
The first aircraft F-14A (basic model) came into service in the 70ths with the United States Navy. The company has manufactured 632 F-14's for the US Navy.
The aircraft has a 20mm vulcan gatling boardcanon and can be equipped with: phoenix, sparrow and sidewinder air-to-air missiles and Mk80 series general purpose bombs, laser guided bombs and Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). For the guided ammunition the Tomcat is equipped with the LANTIRN targeting pod.
The F-14D version has a Infrared Search and Track System (IRSTS) and a Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS). There have been modernized around the 400 F-14A tomcats to the F-14D standard. The F-14D version had some updates which includes: GEC Marconi Digital Flight Control System (DFCS) and after a update of the computer software the F-14 will also be able to carry Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air missiles (AIM-120 AMRAAM).
In the 70 years, Iran has bought 77 F-14A Tomcat fighter jets. These were used during the Iran-Iraq war. Iran used them also as a kind of mini-AWACS airplanes. Iraq used the Mirage F1-EQ fighter jets. These fighter jets were be able to fly beneath the radar range of the Iranian tomcats, then they could destroy the F-14's with air-to-air missiles.
About 1987 there were still 10 of the 77 F-14 Tomcats available for usage. This came due to the maintenance and that the US Government has made a ban of delivering weapons to Iran.
About 2000 there were maybe 20 F-14A Tomcats airworthy. 35 F-14's where stripped to spare parts.
Air Power experts are saying that the Iranian Air Force has no more than 7 piece F-14 Tomcats for use. Iran claims that it has F-14's equipped with I-Hawk air-to-air missiles.
The American F-14's, are subdivided over 7 squadrons but will be slowly replaced by the new F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet.
The newest version is the F-14D. The F-14D has improved engines, more advanced digital radar and avionic systems.
US Navy F-14 Tomcat
|Last updated: 24 March 2018|