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The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a two-seater


supersonic fighter with wings with variable geometry and two powerful engines. The F-14's primary mission is fleet air defense and its secondary mission is reconnaissance and ground attack. After the withdraw of U.S. Navy service in 2007, the last operator of F-14 is the Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran.


An F-14A Tomcat from the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) during Operation Southern Watch

The F-14 was developed to replace the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II ,the fighter in service with the U.S. Navy. Resulted from the experience accumulated by Grumman in developing the naval version of the F-111A of USAF the F-111B which was canceled because it has proved somewhat maneuverable, heavy and, in general, poorly designed for operations based on aircraft carrier, Which led to the cancellation of the project 1968.

The Tomcat was considered as an air superiority fighter and interceptor In charge of defending the naval groups against aircraft belonging to the Soviet Navy which were armed with cruise missiles. The F-14 was equipped with long range radar, the Hughes AN/AWG-9 which was originally developed for the F-111B, able to detect targets the size of the bombs distances beyond the 160 km ( 100 miles ), achieving 24 targets to pursue and attack six simultaneously. Originally, the primary armament of the F -14 missile was AIM-54 Phoenix, able to focus on a target up to 200 km ( 120 miles ), although this has been withdrawn from service September 30 of 2004. The F -14 was the only aircraft to carry this weapon, which was designed as an integral part of the weapon system Tomcat. medium-range arms is guaranteed by AIM-7 Sparrow of semi-active radar, supported by guided missiles Infrared AIM-9 Sidewinder and a M-61 Vulcan cannon 20mm to fight savannah. The F -14 was designed with some capacity for air-ground combat, although this aspect has not been explored until the end of his career, The Tomcats are now fitted with the detection system target LANTIRN to take advantage of laser guided bombs and other precision weapons. Some F-14 are also equipped with the system TARPS(From English Tactical Air Reconnaissance Pod System) And thus constitute the only tactical reconnaissance platform from Marine.

The only country besides the U.S. to use the F-14 is Iran. When in 1976 began to receive the first aircraft of a total of 80 ordered along with 424 AIM-54A Phoenix - to cope with fast MiG-25 Foxbat of USSR who made frequent incursions into Iranian airspace. Of the 80 ordered, 79 F-14s were delivered with 270 Phoenix, the last delivery was canceled because of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Therefore caused the disruption of relations between the two countries. Even with great difficulty to keep them able to fly. It is estimated that the Iranian air force has about 30 planes operational. According to some sources the Iranian F-14 played an important role in War Iran - Iraq, Shooting down over 30 enemy aircraft. Other sources were limited (due to the embargo on spare parts and weapons ) to use its powerful radar to illuminate targets for the fighters F-5 Freedom Fighter and F-4 Phamtom II.


General Characteristics

  • Crew: 2 (Pilot and Radar Intercept Officer)
  • Length: 62 ft 9 in (19.1 m)
  • Wingspan:
    • Spread: 64 ft (19.55 m)
    • Swept: 38 ft (11.58 m)
  • Height: 16 ft (4.88 m)
  • Wing area: 565 ft² (54.5 m²)
  • Airfoil: NACA 64A209.65 mod root, 64A208.91 mod tip
  • Empty weight: 43,735 lb (19,838 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 61,000 lb (27,700 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 74,350 lb (33,720 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2× General Electric F110-GE-400 afterburning turbofans
    • Dry thrust: 13,810 lbf (61.4 kN) each
    • Thrust with afterburner: 27,800 lbf (124.7 kN) each
  • Maximum fuel capacity: 16,200 lb internal; 20,000 lb with 2x 267 gallon external tanks


  • Maximum speed: Mach 2.34 (1,544 mph, 2,485 km/h) at high altitude
  • Combat radius: 500 nmi (575 mi, 926 km)
  • Ferry range: 1,600 nmi (1,840 mi, 2,960 km)
  • Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,200 m)
  • Rate of climb: >45,000 ft/min (229 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 113.4 lb/ft² (553.9 kg/m²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.91


  • Guns: 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61 Vulcan Gatling Gun, with 675 rounds
  • Hardpoints: 10 total: 6× under-fuselage, 2× under nacelles and 2× on wing gloves with a capacity of 14,500 lb (6,600 kg) of ordnance and fuel tanks
  • Missiles:
  • Loading configurations:
    • 2× AIM-9 + 6× AIM-54 (Rarely used due to weight stress on airframe)
    • 2× AIM-9 + 2× AIM-54 + 3× AIM-7 (Most common load during Cold War era)
    • 2× AIM-9 + 4× AIM-54 + 2× AIM-7
    • 2× AIM-9 + 6× AIM-7
    • 4× AIM-9 + 4× AIM-54
    • 4× AIM-9 + 4× AIM-7
  • Bombs:
    • JDAM Precision-guided munition (PGMs)
    • Paveway series of Laser guided bombs
    • Mk 80 series of unguided iron bombs
    • Mk 20 Rockeye II
  • Others:
    • Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance Pod System (TARPS)
    • LANTIRN targeting pod
    • 2× 267 USgal (1,010 l; 222 imp gal) drop tanks for extended range/loitering time


  • Hughes AN/APG-71 radar
  • Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver (ROVER) upgrade

See also

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