f 14 super tomcat 21

Let's take a look at how the Tomcat could have become the Super Tomcat 21 and what it's final evolution may have looked like. Back in 2006, the F-14 Tomcat. Super Tomcat 21 and Attack Super Tomcat 21. The is that the former was first and foremost a fighter with good strike capability while on the. www.pinterest.com › Vehicles › Aircraft. f 14 super tomcat 21

F 14 super tomcat 21 -

Golden Age Weaponsmiths F-14D Super Tomcat:


Designed to operate from carriers as a fleet defense fighter, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat is one of the most well known fighters. It was made famous by the movie "Top Gun." Other than serving in the United States Navy, a small number of these fighters were sold to Iran. The fighter has variable sweep wings which are fully extended at slow speeds for better control and retract into a delta wing configuration for lower drag at high speeds. The Tomcat was designed to be able to carry up to six AIM-54 Phoenix missiles. It also had one of the most powerful radars in a fighter when it was introduced in the early Nineteen-Seventies. A total of about seven hundred F-14 Tomcats were built. Retired in the early Twenty-First Century due to high maintenance requirements and replaced by the FA-18E/F Super Hornet, they were carefully stored in an aircraft bone yard. The planes were thought scrapped but in reality they were just forgotten.


When Golden Age Weaponsmiths found the huge cache of F-14D Super Tomcats sitting in a forgotten storage after several centuries and in surprisingly good condition, they refitted the old fighters and sold the Tomcats. One of the first buyers was the Coalition States, who was trying to create an air force at this time. Golden Age Weaponsmiths has also sold numbers of these fighters to independent governments and mercenary units. Since the Coalition States has not purchased any more F-14 Tomcats, all sales of the old fighter have been going to independents. While Golden Age is considering building fighters based on a Pre-Rifts design, it is highly unlikely that it will be the F-14 due to requiring huge amounts of maintenance.


The engineers replaced much of the outer skin of the fighter with high strength composite and alloy armor materials to enable the fighter to survive the damage of modern air combat. In addition, the airframe had to be rebuilt and strengthened. Still, these rebuilt fighters are far weaker than a newly built aircraft would be. The internal 20 mm Vulcan cannon is basically unchanged but the original rounds have been replaced with special Wellington Industries Ramjet rounds that greatly increase the damage the gun does. Using these rounds, the 20 mm cannon inflicts as much damage as most rail guns.


All of the fighter’s hard points have been refitted to carry the standard missiles built on Rifts Earth. The F-14 has a total of eight hard points. There are four hard points between the twin engines and can carry virtually any ordnance. There are also four hard points on the supports for the wings. Two of these wing root are limited to medium range missiles or smaller with the other can carry long range missiles. The hard points have been refitted so that instead of AIM-54 Phoenix, AIM-7 Sparrow, or AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, the hard points can carry long range missiles or multiple medium or short range missiles. If the Super Tomcat is loaded down with a full load of six long range missiles on its main hard points, the F-14D cannot land until it has lost two long range missiles even if that means just ditching the missiles.


The General Electric F-110-GE-400 engines were completely rebuilt. They were also modified to be able to better burn bio-fuels. After the coming of the Rifts, a large amount of jet fuel is bio-fuel types. For the purpose of carrier landings, the F-14 mounts a tail hook. The fighter is also specifically reinforced to be able to be launched from a catapult. Electronics on the fighter were also reconditioned and in some cases old components were replaced by more modern equivalents. The radar system is quite powerful but lacks the flexibility of more advanced radar systems such as active scanned arrays as was carried on the FA-18E/F Super Hornet.


There was originally a plan for a revised Tomcat design called the Tomcat 21. This aircraft would have been constructed out of all composites, have a fully fly by wire system flight system, and have more powerful engines. This aircraft would have had about 90% of the capabilities of the F-22 while being much less expensive to construct. Still, the advanced Tomcat was never built.


Authors Note: In the author’s opinion, this writeup should be used in place of the one written in the Coalition Navy Source Book because the writeup in the book cannot survive any combat and the fighter can be shot down by a light rifle and many energy pistols in one shot. This writeup, while not especially powerful in game terms, can survive a little combat. Also, the writeup in the Coalition Navy Source Book has long range missiles on the wings in addition to the aircraft carrying six Phoenix missiles. This created two problems, first is that the weight would be too much for the aircraft to take off and the wings of the fighter were not designed to carry ordnance.


As of 2007, the F-14 was retired from United States Navy service will all fighters shredded to prevent parts from being acquired by Iran for their F-14 fighters.


Model Number: F-14D
Vehicle Type: Twin Engine Interceptor
Crew: Two (2) - Pilot and Electronic Warfare Officer.


M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Wings (2):70 each
[2] Elevators (2):40 each
[2] Rudders (2):40 each
Cockpit:80
[3] Engines (2):100 each
Landing Gear (3):5 each
[4] Main Body:140

Notes:
[1] Destroying a wing will cause the plane to crash
[2] Destruction of rudders or one elevator will still allow the fighter to be controlled by the varying of power levels of the engines but the fighter has a penalty of -10 to dodge, and a -30% penalty to all piloting rolls. Destruction of both of the elevators will leave the plane uncontrollable and pilot must eject to survive.
[3] The destruction of one engine will reduce the fighter’s top speed by half and give the pilot a -2 penalty to dodge as well as giving a 10% penalty to piloting. Destruction of both engines will cause the aircraft to crash. Pilot may attempt an emergency landing or pilot can choose to eject.
[4] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the aircraft down completely, rendering it useless and causing it to crash if in flight.


Speed:
Driving on Ground (Taxiing): Only possible for take offs and landings as well as for parking and storage. Speed is 40 mph (64 kph) when traveling and not on take off or landing. Has a tail hook for carrier landings and designed to be catapult launched.
Flying: The Super Tomcat can reach a top speed of Mach 2.3 (1480.9 knots/ 1,705.3 mph / 2,744.5 kph ) on full afterburner (the fighter can only last a few minutes at that speed and consumes most of the fuel.) Top speed is reduced by about 10% when fully loaded. The fighter’s normal cruise is about 420 knots (483.7 mph / 778.4 kph) but varies on the situation. The fighter has a maximum altitude of 53,000 feet (16,460 meters).
Range: 1,312 nautical miles (1,510.8 miles/2,431.6 kilometers) with no external ordnance load. The fighter can carry two 280 gallon fuel tanks (one under each engine) that extend range by about 280 nautical miles (322.4 miles/518.9 kilometers)for both - carried in pairs. Reduce aircraft's range by 15% if partially loaded (two long range missiles, four medium range missile or eight short range missiles, or more) and by 25% if fully loaded. The F-14D Super Tomcat can be refueled in the air.


Statistical Data:
Height: 16 feet (4.8 meters)
Wingspan: 64 feet 1.5 inches (19.55 meters) with wings unswept and 38 feet 2.5 inches (11.56 meters) with wings swept back.
Length: 62 feet 8 inches (19.1 meters).
Weight: 41,780 pounds (18,968 kg) unloaded and 74,349 pounds (33755 kg) at maximum load.
Power System: Conventional, Two General Electric F-110-GE-400 augmented turbofan engines with afterburners (Each with 13,810 lbs thrust dry and 27,800 lbs thrust on afterburners), uses aviation fuel.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment) in cockpit, does not include hard points.
Black Market Cost: 4 million credits (Can sometimes sell for double that price)


Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) M61A1 20 mm Vulcan Cannon: This is the original Pre-Rifts cannon mounted in the nose of the fighter. It is the same cannon design as is carried on the FA-18 Hornet and multiple other United States aircraft. They have replaced the standard ammo with Wellington Industries developed mega damage, armor piercing ramjet ammunition which allows the aircraft to hold it own against other Rifts aircraft. The gun mount is controlled by the fighter’s pilot.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 m).
    Mega Damage: 1D6x10 for a burst of 30 round, 2D4 for each round.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 660 rounds (22 bursts)
  2. Eight (8) Hard Points: The F-14 Tomcat has a total of 8 hard points with four of the hard points between the aircraft's engines and two of the hard points on each of the aircrafts wing roots. The two hard points are closely grouped together and one can carry much lower payload that the other. All but the secondary wing support hard points can carry bombs instead of missiles but the Tomcat was not designed to carry bombs so there are penalties when using bombs. The hard points were originally designed to carry one missile each but the hard points have been refitted to carry two medium range missiles or four short range missiles on each hard point. The smaller secondary wing root hard points are reduced in their payload. The aircraft cannot land with six long range missiles being carried.
    Fuselage Hard Points (4): ECM pack or missiles/bombs (one long range missile /heavy, two medium range/medium, or four short range/light each). Originally used for Phoenix, AMRAAM, Sparrow, and Sidewinder missiles but could carry bombs as well.
    Primary Wing Root Hard Points (2): ECM pack, towed decoy, or missiles/bombs (one long range missile /heavy, two medium range/medium, or four short range/light each). Originally used for Phoenix, AMRAAM, Sparrow, and Sidewinder missiles but could carry bombs as well.
    Secondary Wing Root Hard Points (2): Missiles only (one medium range missile or two short range missiles each.) These hard points were originally designed for Sidewinder missiles.
    1. Bombs and Missiles: The only restriction is that a hard point must carry all the same type of missiles or bombs. Both unguided and guided bombs can be carried. Missiles, especially long range missiles, are usually controlled by the weapon officer but can be controlled by the pilot as well.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type for missile and varies by altitude bombs are dropped at (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega Damage: Varies by missile or bomb type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Rate of Fire: Missiles can be fired and bombs can be dropped one at a time per hard point. Multiple hard points can be linked as one attack but must be the same size (light, medium, or heavy) and style of ordnance (all missiles or bombs in a volley.)
      Payload: Varies by hard point (see above - all ordnance on a hard point must be the same size and type of ordnance)
    2. Active Jamming Pod: The pod takes place of all ordnance on the hard point. Causes -25% to detection but when it is active, other vehicles/ bases can detect that it is jamming, and some missiles will home in on jamming signals. Jamming also causes a -4 penalty to all radar guided weapons.
    3. Towed Decoys (4): The pod takes place of all ordnance on the hard point. The aircraft can carry a special pod that carries four advanced towed decoy drones. These drones are dragged about 328 feet (100 meters) behind the aircraft on a thin cable. Each is a specially designed radar lure that creates a radar image to mimic the aircraft. If decoys are not destroyed, they can be recovered and repaired. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World weapons due to technological difference.
      M.D.C.: 5 each
      Effects: The decoy has an 65% chance of fooling ordinary non military radars and non smart guided missiles, the decoy has a 35% chance of fooling military level radars (like those of the Coalition), and the decoy has a 10% chance of fooling advanced military radars (Like those of the New Navy and Triax) and smart missiles.
      Range: Not Applicable although the decoy is deployed 328 feet (100 meters) from the aircraft
      Rate of fire: One can be deployed at a time and requires 15 seconds to deploy (Reel Out) another decoy
      Payload: 4 Decoys each pod.
  3. One (1) Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispenser: Use the same effects as the TRIAX model. However, each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
    Effect:
      01-50 Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.
      51-75 Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
      76-00 No effect, missiles are still on target
    Also note that the chaff cloud will also blind flying monsters that fly through cloud. They will suffer the following penalties: reduce melee attacks/actions, combat bonuses, and speed by half. Duration: 1D4 melee rounds.
    Payload: 20 chaff, 40 flares. Each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares.

Special Equipment:
The equipment of the fighter has been upgraded but many of the original systems are still on the fighter. Consider the fighter to carry all standard equipment that robot vehicles carry (not including loudspeaker and microphone) plus the following extra systems:

  • AN/APG-71 Radar: More advanced system than the original AWG-9 System carried on the F-14A which has a greater range. The fighter can track up to 24 targets simultaneously and can target and fire on up to ten targets simultaneously. The weapons officer frees the pilot from controlling the missiles so he can retain his full attacks. Range: 230.3 miles (200 nautical miles/ 370.6 kilometers)
  • E.S.M.: Radar Detector, Passively detects other radars being operated.
  • T.C.S.: Video Camera with powerful magnification. Multiplies all images by about 200 times which allows visual identification and tracking of fighter sized objects out to 20 to 30 miles.
Combat Bonuses
    +1 to Strike with 20 mm Gun.
    +2 to dodge
    +4 to dodge while traveling over 250 mph



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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 1998, 2001, & 2011, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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Источник: http://kitsunesden.xyz/Rifts/Rifts-Earth-Vehicles/Golden_Age/GAW_F-14D_Super_Tomcat.htm

Gone, But Not Forgotten – A Comeback for the F-14 Tomcat?

The United States Navy retired the popular F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft in 2006. TheTomcat was the product of a Navy initiative in the 1950s during the height of the Cold War to find a more effective long-range interceptor to combat Soviet Union jet bombers.

The United States Navy needed to find an effective fighter jet with offensive capabilities to protect and defends its carrier battle groups. Although the Navy was working on the F-111B carrier aircraft, it was not suited to perform combat duties due to its heavy weight and inability to perform high-end stealth maneuvers.

In 1974, the F-14 was used for the first time in combat. The F-14 still used the same TF30 twin engines as the F-111B, but the F-14 was more maneuverable and became the world’s best air defense fighter, eventually phasing out the F-4 Phantom II fighter in 1986.

A U.S. Navy General Dynamics/Grumman F-111B fighter in flight.

The F-14 was designed specifically to defend, address, and combat specific threats from the Soviet Union, such as a massive attack from Soviet Tupolev Tu-22M bombers equipped with cruise missiles.

It was able to engage multiple targets simultaneously and neutralize targets over 90 miles away. As the Soviet threat was diminished by the fall of the Berlin wall, the Navy became more comfortable transitioning away from the F-14 and seeking new alternatives to the aging aircraft.

https://youtu.be/u_BK0Esf_nY

Military spending dropped significantly with the end of the Cold War, and the F-14’s high repair and upkeep costs encouraged the creation and development of a new generation of fighter jets that would be far more cost-effective.

As the threat of an attack against its carrier fleet was much less of a concern, the Navy was willing to sacrifice the Tomcat’s offensive capabilities and speed for the more well-rounded Super Hornet.

A Grumman F-14A Tomcat of fighter squadron VF-84 Jolly Rogers.

In 1989, production of new F-14s ended, and in 1991, then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney canceled the production of the F-14D, calling the F-14“outdated” 1960s technology. The Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet were first ordered by the Navy in 1992, tested until 1999, and approved for combat use by the Navy in 2000.

Although the F-14 was still a superior offensive attack aircraft, the The Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet were more versatile, more economical, and had the more modern technology.

An F/A-18F Super Hornet.

The newer aircraft featured APG 73 radar, AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR (Advanced Targeting Forward Looking InfraRed), AN/ALR-67(V)3 radar warning receiver, the AN/ALE-47 countermeasures dispenser, the AN/ALE-50 towed decoy, the AN/ALQ-165 Airborne Self-Protect Jammer (ASPJ), and the AN/ALQ-214 Integrated Defensive Countermeasures (IDECM) system. Boeing continued to create and retrofit new upgrades to enhance the Super Hornet’s combat effectiveness.

F-14B Tomcat from VF-102.

Now with more recent threats arising from China and Russia, and with both countries developing greater offensive capabilities, the Navy is considering bringing back the F-14. A senior Navy official stated that the Navy is “looking towards the future of fighter aviation in the Navy, and the future is in the past. That’s why we want to bring back the Tomcat. Those armchair generals… err.. excuse me, admirals, on the internet clearly know more about the needs of the Navy than the Navy itself.”

Sailors prepare an F-14 Tomcat for a flight.

The advent of the Russian PAK-FA combat fighter and the Chinese J-11 are forcing the United States to reconsider developing better fighter jets and consider bringing the F-14 out of retirement.  With new threats emerging, military and public support is growing for a return of the F-14 until the United States can produce a new fighter jet superior to those produced by Russia and China.

With the F-14 able to accurately complete long-range strikes, some believe it is practical for the Navy to consider recommissioning the F-14 or at least utilizing the F-14 until a newer fighter jet is fully tested and combat ready. Currently, the United States has a contract with Boeing to produce 134 brand new Super Hornets over the next several years.

A US Navy (USN) F-14B Tomcat.

The Navy is looking to further develop the F-35C as the future stalwart fighter jet. The F-35 features stealth technology, speed, and durability. Additionally, the Navy has updated the Block III Super Hornet to include conformable (low-drag, external) fuel tanks, which will allow the Block III to carry more missiles and have a longer strike range.

Although appreciation still exists for the classic F-14 and its commendable service history, the Navy will likely continue upgrades to the Super Hornet to make it more combat effective and rely on the newer aircraft to meet its future needs.

Источник: https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/comeback-for-the-f14-tomcat.html

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Manufacturer:
Grumman
Country:
United States
Manufactured:
1969 to: 1991
ICAO:
F14
Price:
US$50 million
Avionics:
Hughes AN/AWG-9, AN/ALR-23, Raytheon AN/APG-71
Engine:
2x General Electric F110-GE-400
Turbofan
Power:
27,800 pound-force
Max Cruise Speed:
1342 knots
2,485 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref):
125 knots
Travel range:
1,600 Nautical Miles
2,963 Kilometers
Fuel Economy:
0.78 nautical mile / gallon
0.382 kilometres / litre
Service Ceiling:
56,000 feet
Rate of Climb:
45000 feet / minute
228.60metre / second
Take Off Distance:
762 metre - 2,499.97 feet
Landing Distance:
732 metre - 2,401.55 feet
Max Take Off Weight:
33,725 Kg
74,350 lbs
Max Landing Weight:
Max Payload:
6,600 Kg
14,550 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
2,985 gallon
11,299 litre
Baggage Volume:
Seats - Economy / General:
2 seats
Seats - Business Class:
0
Seats - First Class:
0
Cabin Height:
Cabin Width:
Cabin Length:
Exterior Length:
19.1 metre - 62.66 feet
Tail height:
4.9 metre - 16.08 feet
Fuselage Diameter:
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter:
19.55 metre - 64.14 feet
Wing Tips:
No Winglets

click / tap to open full screen gallery

Blog Mentions

Blog posts that mention the Grumman F-14 Tomcat:

Источник: https://aerocorner.com/aircraft/grumman-f-14-tomcat/

Super F-14 Tomcat: Why the Navy Said No To This Amazing Fighter

Not long ago, we explored the reasons the legendary F-14 Tomcat found itself sent out to pasturedecades before its fighter classmates from the 1970s, but there’s more to the tale of Grumman’s incredible fighter and its efforts to find a place in a post-Cold War fleet. In the early 1990’s, Grumman proposed a new iteration of the famed Top Gun fighter that was not only modern enough to still be in service today, it would have marked a vast improvement in performance and capability over even Maverick’s highly capable F-14D.

While the F-14D took on the title “Super Tomcat,” this effort to modernize the F-14 began under the moniker “ST21,” which, appropriately enough, stood for “Super Tomcat for the 21st Century,” and make no mistake — that’s exactly what it could have been.

The Navy needed a fighter with attack capabilities

In 1988, a joint team from McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics was awarded a development contract for what was to become the A-12 Avenger II, not to be confused with Lockheed’s proposed A-12 of the 1960s, which sought to arm an SR-71 sibling jet with air-to-air weapon systems. Once completed, the Navy’s A-12 would have been a flying wing-design reminiscent of Northrop Grumman’s B-2 Spirit or forthcoming B-21 Raider, though much smaller and more triangular; earning it the nickname “Flying Dorito.”

Once completed, the A-12 would have actually been the world’s first true stealth fighter, thanks to the inclusion of onboard radar and the ability to leverage AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles — but by 1991, the Flying Dorito was shot down by its own massive budget overruns and technical delays. You can read more about that in our full feature on the A-12 program here, but suffice to say, its cancelation left the Navy with a strike capability gap it needed to fill, especially with the A-6 Intruder’s retirement looming on the horizon.

The Tomcat had been designed from the very onset with air-to-air combat as a primary focus, with an emphasis placed on covering a great deal of ground very quickly while carrying a heavy payload of advanced AIM-54 Phoenix missiles to intercept approaching Soviet bombers. Grumman, recognizing the Navy’s need for an aircraft capable of filling the attack role, proposed a fairly inexpensive facelift for the Navy’s Tomcat fleet dubbed the F-14 Quick Strike. The Quick Strike upgrade would incorporate an infrared navigation and targeting pod similar to the LANTIRN system that found its way into the F-15E and F-16 along with upgrades to the aircraft’s powerful onboard radar for ground-attack modes. The addition of more hardpoints for standoff munitions rounded out the proposal as an economic-seeming solution.

An F-14 for the 21st Century

Of course, as we’ve discussed at length in the past, economic was never really the Tomcat’s specialty, and the Navy wasn’t particularly interested in expanding the role of its expensive and sometimes problematic F-14 fleets as they stood. To make matters worse for Grumman, McDonnell Douglas was rumored to be hard at work on development of a practically clean-sheet fighter modeled after the Navy’s other carrier-fighter, the F/A-18 Hornet.

McDonnell Douglas’ plan was to present the Navy with a new, more advanced fighter that could fill a broad swath of roles for the Navy, but delivered in a package that looked and sounded like a continuation of the successful Hornet lineage. Not only would that make the aircraft sound proven and reliable, it would be perceived as less expensive than funding development on a new fighter.

Grumman opted to offer an even more heavily upgraded iteration of the F-14 that could come as new aircraft or through remanufacture of existing platforms. The resulting ST21 (Super Tomcat for the 21st Century) and subsequent AST21(Attack Super Tomcat for the 21st Century) were designs that could have catapulted the Tomcat straight into the coming millennium it drew its name from.

Cramming a new fighter under the Tomcat’s hood

Despite the incredible capabilities offered by the most modern F-14Ds of the day, the Tomcat’s design was already more than twenty years old by the time discussion about the Super Tomcat 21 began. Often, when discussing fighter programs that are trying to stay relevant amid rapid technological progress, a dated design is something engineers are trying to compensate for, but in many ways, the Tomcat’s dated layout created a glutton of opportunity when it came to introducing new technologies to the aircraft.

Leveraging lessons learned from more than a decade and a half of service, the Super Tomcat 21 eliminated the “glove vanes” that were located just outside of each wingroot. These glove vanes were designed to create lift ahead of the aircraft’s center of gravity at supersonic speeds above Mach 1.4, pressing the nose of the aircraft up and unloading the tail planes to allow for greater high-speed maneuverability. However, the systems that controlled these planes were a maintenance nightmare, and they were eventually welded shut on most aircraft.

In place of those problematic glove vanes, the ST21 and AST21 incorporated enlarged aerodynamic gloves that offered massive benefits in terms supersonic handling and dogfighting performance while simultaneously providing room for an additional 2,200 pounds of fuel storage in each wing, granting the aircraft even greater range.

When the F-14 first took to the skies with its incredible AIM-54A Phoenix missile, the fighter had to include rail fairings to house the missile’s oil cooling system, but by the ’90s, the Navy had upgraded to AIM-54B and C iterations of the missile, neither of which required the F-14 to manage oil cooling duties. In place of these systems, the Super Tomcat 21 would house navigation and attack FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared Sensors) in these rail fairings.

Data from those systems would be fed into an entirely glass cockpit with dramatically improved avionics, a wide-angle Heads Up Display (HUD) that could project imagery from the navigational FLIR pod, upgraded APG-71 radar, and entirely new mission computers, making the Tomcat into a dated-looking fighter with the most advanced avionics available at the time.

The AST21 was largely a continuation of the ST21 design, with additional bomb-carrying pylons, a modified radar system with a Forward Air Controller (FAC) mode, an Integrated Defensive Avionics Package (IDAP), and nuclear weapons carrying capabilities.

More power, more speed, and more range

Both Super Tomcat 21 iterations saw the use of upgraded GE-F110-129 turbofan engines, in keeping with the Navy’s ongoing efforts (at the time) to replace the troubled Pratt & Whitney TF30 in their Tomcat fleets. The use of these engines in conjunction with the increased fuel capacity and improved wing aerodynamics resulted in what could have been an astonishingly capable fighter that may have been further bolstered by the inclusion of thrust vectoring nozzles taking their cues from the aircraft’s new flight computer.

The GE-F110-129 was not only a massive improvement over the TF30 still filling the fuselages of some Tomcats into the early 2000s, it was also an improvement over the F110’s the Navy’s best Tomcats employed. With approximately 30,000 pounds of thrust available from each engine under afterburner and a more efficient design, the new Tomcat would have been able to fly further than ever before at higher sustained speeds. In fact, the Super Tomcat 21 would have been able to super-cruise, or fly at supersonic speeds without the use of its afterburner, at a sustained jaw-dropping Mach 1.3.

Thrust vectoring nozzles, if the Navy had opted to include them, would have taken the new fighter’s maneuverability to a positively mind-boggling level when leveraged in conjunction with its automated sweep-wing design. According to some sources, the AST21 would have already been able to sustain 77 degrees of sustained AoA (angle of attack) thanks to the aircraft’s planned aerodynamic improvements, and thrust vector control would have pushed that even further.

With wing position controlled by an on-board computer for maximum benefit, the massive (in comparison) F-14 could already turn tighter than its tiny Air Force sibling, the F-16 Fighting Falcon, under the right circumstances. The addition of thrust-vectoring would not only have improved upon that already-impressive Angle of Attack figure, it likely would have made the Super Tomcat 21 the most acrobatic and maneuverable fighter not just of its era, but likely for decades yet to come.

Thrust vector control effectively aims the outflow of the engine’s thrust independent of the aircraft itself. This can allow the aircraft to literally continue to push forward in the sky while pointing its nose (and weapons) down at an opponent, as well as allowing for rapid maneuvering that seems to defy the laws of physics when shown on video.

Thrust vector control has long been an important element in Russian fighter design based on their emphasis on within-visual-range fights (dogfights), but within America stables, it can only be found on the ranking king of the skies, F-22 Raptor.

But Grumman wasn’t done yet. If the Navy didn’t think the ST21 or the AST21 designs were capable enough, they had one more ace up their sleeve.

ASF-14: The ultimate Tomcat

While both the ST21 and AST21 were billed as both re-manufacture programs for existing Tomcats and new-build aircraft, Grumman’s pitch to the Navy eventually included an entirely new-build Tomcat dubbed the ASF-14. The ASF-14 would have looked like its F-14 predecessors, but the similarities would have been largely skin deep.

While the Super Tomcat 21 designs would have increased the Tomcat’s internal fuel storage to 18,500 pounds, the ASF-14 design added thicker wings (much like the Super Hornet versus the Hornet) to further increase fuel capacity. Other improvements over the ST21 and AST21 designs largely revolved around the fact that the ASF-14 would be an entirely new aircraft, so Grumman wouldn’t be stuck working with many of the bulky legacy subsystems that an upgrade/remanufacture program would leave in place as a cost and time-saving measure.

That would mean this new “ultimate” Tomcat’s internals would have been state-of-the-air from nose to tail. Dated and bulky electrical systems would have been replaced with modern modular systems that would not only improve performance and reduce weight, but would have made subsequent improvements cheaper and less time consuming. Perhaps most important to the Tomcat’s ability to survive budget cuts, its troublesome electronic and hydraulic systems that made the aircraft such a maintenance nightmare would have been gutted in favor of modern systems that required less upkeep and weighed substantially less. Even parts of the aircraft that had always worked well would see improvements in materials used, with carbon fiber replacing titanium or aluminum in a number of components.

In fact, even with carrying all that extra fuel, the new ASF-14 Super (Duper?) Tomcat would have weighed in at very close or perhaps even less than the Navy’s existing F-14s thanks to the massive weight savings allowed by the ASF-14 design.

When it first took to the skies, the Tomcat was built to house the massive and incredibly powerful Hughes AWG-9 fire control radar, which remains the largest radar system ever employed by an American fighter. All that real estate would have come in handy for a large active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for air-to-air and air-to-ground operations.

The ASF-14, with some 60,000 pounds of thrust and a better thrust-to-weight ratio than the F-14D, thrust vector control, massive internal fuel stores, huge payload capabilities, and incredible situational awareness provided by powerful onboard radar and a multitude of sensor pods, could have been a 4th generation fighter with few — or maybe no — peers to this very day.

The Super Tomcat versus the Super Hornet

So if these designs were so good, how did find ourselves here, waxing poetic about how incredible they could have been? Well, like all military acquisitions, the Navy had to balance capability with capacity, mission requirements with budgets, and public perception with military doctrine. The Super Hornet the Navy ultimately chose doesn’t stir the same passion among many aviation fans as the F-14 Tomcat for many of the same reasons it’s proven itself to be such a solid choice for the Navy: It’s a little boring compared to the high drama that comes as part of the F-14’s package.

In a lot of ways, the F-14 was like Rocky of movie fame: a troubled past and a rocky start ultimately produces an American powerhouse that becomes the star of its own movie. Couple that with the F-14D’s genuinely incredible performance and the near-constant threat of nuclear Armageddon and its no wonder we fell in love with this dynamic aircraft.

The Super Hornet, on the other hand, has been characterized as an “80%” solution to the Navy’s litany of problems at the time. It’s not as fast or as powerful as many other fighters and it certainly lacks the range of the F-14, let alone the steroid-injected range of the ASF-14… but it’s reliable, efficient, and battle proven. In fact, America’s only air-to-air kill of the past two decades was scored by a Super Hornet.

It’s tough to argue that the Navy made the wrong call with the Super Hornet, as its reliability and efficiency were both on full display throughout the past two decades of the Global War on Terror. But now, as the the U.S. shifts its focus back toward Great Power Competition, the ASF-14, with it’s insane range, powerful radar, bonkers speed, and spine-crunching agility, looks as appealing as any non-stealth fighter could.

America’s carrier-based fighters are struggling with a lack of range today, something numerous programs are currently working to offset, thanks in large part to the size of China’s area denial bubble created by hypersonic anti-ship missile systems. The Super Tomcat 21 or ASF-14 would lack stealth, just like the Super Hornet, but they could have had the legs they’d need to engage those weapons while keeping America’s carrier’s safely out of range. Today’s F-35Cs and F/A-18s simply don’t.

Of course, aviation technology continues to steam ahead, and even if the ASF-14 had entered service by the end of the 1990s, it would likely still be flying toward an early retirement in favor of the Navy’s F/A-XX fighter being developed in conjunction with the Air Force in the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program. With stealth increasingly a requirement for new designs, it seems the years of people saying “they never should have retired the F-14” may soon be coming to an end.

But for now, those of you who have long reveled in that salty declaration can rest easy knowing that the Super Tomcat 21 or ASF-14 could have been some of the greatest fighters the world has ever seen.

Alex Hollings is a writer, dad, and Marine veteran who specializes in foreign policy and defense technology analysis. He holds a master’s degree in Communications from Southern New Hampshire University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Corporate and Organizational Communications from Framingham State University. This first appeared in Sandboxx news. 

F-14, F-14 Tomcat, Military, NotHome, Super F-14, Super F-14 Tomcat

Sandboxx News is a digital and print military media outlet focused on the lives, experiences, and challenges facing today’s service members and America’s defense apparatus. Built on the simple premise that service members and their supporters need a reliable news outlet free of partisan politics and sensationalism, Sandboxx News delivers stories from around the world and insights into the U.S. Military’s past, present, and future– delivered through the lens of real veterans, service members, military spouses, and professional journalists.

Источник: https://www.19fortyfive.com/2021/11/super-f-14-tomcat-why-the-navy-said-no-to-this-amazing-fighter/

Introduction¶

Historical background¶

F-14 Tomcat¶

_images/F-14TU95.png

U.S. Navy photo by LT J.G. Thomas Prochilo. (DN-SC-83-06680)¶

The F-14 Tomcat can trace its origin back to the 1950’s and the US Navy’s need for a carrier based long range interceptor to fill the Fleet Air Defence role. It was decided that it needed an aircraft with a more advanced and longer ranged radar as well as longer ranged air-to-air missile than the F-4 Phantom.

The Navy was directed, by then defense secretary Robert McNamara, to join the Tactical Fighter Experimental or TFX program to procure this aircraft in a joint venture with the US Air Force. The Navy was opposed to this from the beginning and the proposed General Dynamics F-111B did not meet the Navy’s expectations.

Grumman, which had been brought on board by General Dynamics for the Navy F-111B, was eventually awarded a contract to begin development of an aircraft more suited to the Navy’s requirements. This led to the design that would eventually become the F-14, carrying over the radar (AN/AWG-9) and missiles (AIM-54 Phoenix) from the failed F-111B project.

The F-14 Tomcat first flew on the 21st of December 1970 and entered service on the 22nd of September 1974. The name “Tomcat” follows Grumman’s tradition of naming their aircraft after cats and also partially from the nickname “Tom’s Cat” for Vice Admiral Thomas F. Connolly who was instrumental for the development of the F-14.

Service Life Upgrades¶

The first version of the F-14, the F-14A was equipped with the Pratt & Whitney TF30 and carried an IRST system in the chinpod under the nose.

The TF30 engines were generally regarded as temperamental and underpowered for the F-14A and were eventually replaced by the General Electric F110-400 engines in the F-14A+ (later F-14B).

The IRST system was rather quickly determined to be underperforming and replaced with the TCS (Television Camera Set) in the chinpod allowing for greater than visual range identification of radar tracked targets.

Both the F-14A and F-14B received continuous upgrades during their life, including new programmable cockpit displays (PTID and PMDIG) as well as a new INS system, a digital flight control system (DFCS) and an RWR system amongst others.

Eventually the Tactical Reconaissance mission was also added to the F-14’s portfolio, enabled by the TARPS system, allowing the Tomcat to gather photographic reconaissance material.

Ground Attack¶

_images/bombcat.png

Photo by LCDR Dave Parsons. (DN-SC-93-01299)¶

During the 1990’s when the aerial threat to the fleets of the US Navy lessened and with the advent of operations like Desert Storm, the ground attack role was resurrected.

The ability to carry and deliver air-to-ground munitions had been implemented in the F-14 from the beginning but ruled out by the Navy as cost and risk ineffective given the F-14’s role as a Fleet Air Defence fighter.

With the renewed interest for this role, some of the F-14As and F-14Bs were equipped to carry the LANTIRN targeting pod allowing the RIO to find and designate laser guided bombs for his own aircraft and others. Later on the ability to carry and deliver gps-guided JDAMs was also added.

Most of the LANTIRN equipped aircraft were the ones upgraded with the programmable TID or (PTID) allowing for greater integration of the LANTIRN.

F-14D¶

In the 1990’s the ultimate F-14 version was beginning to see service, the F-14D.

The F-14D used the same engines as the F-14B, the GE F110-400s in addition to using the digital flight control system, which was eventually retrofitted into operational F-14As and F-14Bs as well.

In addition the F-14D also had a newer, more advanced version of the AN/AWG-9, the AN/APG-71, as well as a whole suite of upgraded avionics along with a new chinpod combining the TCS with a new, improved IRST system.

End of Service¶

The F-14 Tomcat did eventually show its age, forcing the Navy to retire it due to increased maintenance costs and the general status of the now dated airframes. Additionally the Tomcat’s primary role, the Fleet Air Defence role, seemingly disappeared with the end of the Cold War.

The Tomcat was finally retired in a ceremony on the 22nd of September 2006 at NAS Oceana.

Iran¶

_images/iranicats.jpg

IRIAF photo circa 1986.¶

The only other operator of the F-14 Tomcat was the Imperial Iranian Air Force, later the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, for which the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi acquired 80 Tomcats.

The eventual fall of the Shah and the rise of the Islamic Republic of Iran meant that a country now opposed to the United States had access to one of its most advanced fighter aircraft. This meant that the Iranian F-14s now lost access to new spare parts and missiles, apart from black market sources, greatly increasing the difficulty of maintaining the aircraft.

The F-14 Tomcat was used during the Iran-Iraq war, claiming a great number of air-to-air victories over the Iraqi Air Force, with some sources going so far as to claim that Iraqi pilots at times left the contested air space to avoid facing the AN/AWG-9 - AIM-54 combo.

To this date the IRIAF continues to fly the F-14 Tomcat as the sole operator. It’s not entirely known how the Iranians source their spare parts but it’s assumed that they’ve had to cannibalize inoperable aircraft to keep a portion of their fleet flying. In addition rumours exist mentioning black market sources as well as indigenous production of some parts.

The Iranian operated Tomcats are of the earlier F-14A revisions, using the TF30 engines and lacking a TCS or IRST system.

AIM-54 Phoenix¶

_images/phoenix.jpg

U.S. Navy photo by Capt. Dana Potts. (020924-N-1955P-001)¶

The AIM-54 long-range air-to-air missile was born from the same TFX program as that which eventually led to the F-14 Tomcat.

It was designed for the F-111B and then adopted for the F-14 as a long-range missile capable of long range engagement of enemy bombers in addition to hostile cruise missiles. That’s not to say that the AIM-54 Phoenix was a slouch at engaging other smaller targets as well.

Outstanding features of the AIM-54 missiles were their long range as well as their ability to be launched at up to six simultaneous targets, guided first by the AN/AWG-9 radar in the launching aircraft and then its own active radar seeker independently.

The original AIM-54 Phoenix was the AIM-54A with a mk47 rocket motor. The motor was later on upgraded, creating the mk60 motor, increasing the missile’s range. Eventually the AIM-54 itself was also upgraded, resulting in the AIM-54C with, amongst other things, an upgraded seeker head and a newer version of the mk47 producing less smoke, making the missile hard to spot visually.

The US Navy fired only three AIM-54 missiles in combat, all three over Iraq. The missiles never hit their intended targets though as two of the missiles’ rocket motors failed with the third also missing its target as it turned tail and ran.

While little is known for certain in the western hemisphere, the IRIAF claims at least 78 air-to-air victories using the AIM-54 against Iraqi MiG-21s, MiG-23s, MiG-25s, Mirage F-1s, Super Etendards and even some anti-ship cruise missiles.

General Specifications¶

Technical Data¶

F-14A¶

Wingspan (Fully Extended)

64’1.5” (~19.5 meters)

Wingspan (Fully Swept Airborne)

38’2.5” (~11.6 meters)

Wingspan (Oversweep)

33’3.5” (~10.1 meters)

Length

62’8.5” (~19.1 meters)

Height

16’ (~4.9 meters)

Wing Area

565 sqft (~52.5 m²)

Empty Weight

40,104 pounds (~18,200 kg)

Maximum Weight

72,000 pounds (~32,700 kg)

Maximum Thrust, Dry

34,154 lbf (152 kN)

Wing Loading

92 lb/ft² (449.2 kg/m²)

Maximum Speed

1,544 mph (~2,500 km/h) Mach 2.38

Ceiling

50,000’+ (~15,200 meters)

Range

1,730 NM (~3200 km)

F-14B¶

Wingspan (Fully Extended)

64’1.5” (~19.5 meters)

Wingspan (Fully Swept Airborne)

38’2.5” (~11.6 meters)

Wingspan (Oversweep)

33’3.5” (~10.1 meters)

Length

62’8.5” (~19.1 meters)

Height

16’ (~4.9 meters)

Wing Area

565 sqft (~52.5 m²)

Empty Weight

41,780 pounds (~19,000 kg)

Maximum Weight

74,349 pounds (~33,700 kg)

Maximum Thrust, Dry

56,400 lbf (251 kN)

Wing Loading

94 lb/ft² (458.9 kg/m²)

Maximum Speed

1,544 mph (~2,500 km/h) Mach 2.38

Ceiling

53,000’+ (~16,200 meters)

Range

2,050 NM (~3800 km)

Modelled F-14 versions in DCS¶

F-14A-95-GR IRIAF - Not yet implemented¶

Early F-14A version as sold to the IIAF (Imperial Iranian Air Force) which later became the IRIAF (Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force).

This version has the early Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-414A engines, AN/ALR-45 radar warning receiver and lacks the Television Camera Set (TCS) and Link-4 data link system as well as being limited to the earlier air to air missiles available to Iran.

F-14A-135-GR (Early) - Not yet implemented¶

Early US Navy F-14A version.

This version has the early Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-414A engines and AN/ALR-45 and AN/ALR-50 radar warning receivers.

F-14A-135-GR (Late)¶

Later US Navy F-14A version.

This version has the early Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-414A engines and the AN/ALR-67 radar warning receiver.

F-14B¶

US Navy F-14B (renamed from F-14A+).

This version has the newer General Electrics F110-GE-400 engines, the AN/ALR-67 radar warning receiver as well as having the ability to mount and use the LANTIRN targeting pod.


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Tomcatting: Why the Grumman F-14 Never Lived up f 14 super tomcat 21 its Reputation

U.S. Navy aircrews and recruiters loved the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, but a careful review of its record suggests f 14 super tomcat 21 Top Gun mount wasn’t all it was cranked up to be.

In 1961, when U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara proposed the General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark as a Swiss army knife suitable for all three major flying services, that included a Navy version, the F-111B. The B turned out to be too complex, underpowered and heavy for carrier ops, however. It was also a bomber, and the Navy needed a fighter. 

In the career-ending words of Vice Adm. Tom Connolly, in response to a senator’s question as to whether more powerful engines might make the F-111B acceptable, “Mister Chairman, all the thrust in Christendom couldn’t make a fighter out of that airplane.” Some claim that the Tomcat’s name is a tribute to Connolly’s falling-on-his-sword honesty. 

The Navy was seeking a replacement for the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom, which no longer had the range or weapons needed to protect carrier battle groups. Soviet advances in bombers and anti-ship cruise missiles required an inter­ceptor that could fly far and fast, with long loiter time, powerful radar and brutish missiles that could strike far beyond the range of Sidewinders and Sparrows.

Grumman, which had worked with General Dynamics on the F-111’s variable-geometry wing, had already begun work on a fighter, the G-303, that became the Tomcat. It utilized the 111’s swing-wing concept as well as its Pratt & Whitney TF30 engines—unique in being the world’s first afterburning fighter turbofans. 

Grumman, a swing-wing pioneer, had built the rotund and underpowered XF10F Jaguar to test the concept of a wing that could be unswept for carrier landings and takeoffs, and swept for inflight speed. Grumman test pilot Corky Meyer was the only person to fly the sole XF10F and he pronounced it fun “because there was so much wrong with it.” His work nonetheless carried over to the F-111 and the F-14. 

The father of the Tomcat, Grumman engineer Mike Pelehach, saw his first MiG-21 at a 1960s Paris Air Show and knew the U.S. would need a fighter that could defeat it. Pelehach paced off the dimensions of the MiG and went back to the company’s Beth­page headquarters to begin work on a MiG-beater. Ultimately, he drew together all the concepts and options that resulted in the Tomcat.

Mike Pelehach (left), the father of the Tomcat, and fellow Grumman engineers look over the first F-14 during its construction. (Cradle of Aviation Museum)
Mike Pelehach (left), the father of the Tomcat, and fellow Grumman engineers look over the first F-14 during its construction. (Cradle of Aviation Museum)

A highly regarded engineer, Pelehach once had dinner with a group of his Chinese counterparts, who asked if it would be possible to modernize their own MiG-21s. Pelehach quickly sketched a design and some details on the tablecloth. At the end of the evening, the Chinese engineers stripped the silverware and took the tablecloth with them.

The variable-geometry wing, f 14 super tomcat 21, was not one of Pelehach’s best ideas. In practice the swing wing has been called a major aeronautical engineering blunder. On the Tomcat, it was complex and heavy, and though its movement was automatic and rapid, some Air Force F-15 and F-16 pilots who flew against the F-14 claimed the wings’ position telegraphed the airplane’s energy state as it lost momentum during air combat maneuvers. The main reason for that lost momentum during ACM was the dismal .68-to-1 thrust ratio of the early TF30 engine.

The fuel-efficient engines f 14 super tomcat 21 swing wings that could be unswept at max-loiter airspeeds) allowed the Tomcat to linger longer over the battlefield, with a bigger ordnance load than any fighter in the world, but they had a failing that had already cropped up during the F-111’s career. F-111s weren’t expected to fly as extreme a flight envelope as were Tomcats, so the problem was not a major consideration. But the fact remained that TF30s were never intended to be fighter engines; they were not meant to deal with the constant and rapid throttle movements and high angle-of-attack situations that modern combat involved.

The second F-14 prototype takes off from Grumman’s Calverton, Long Island, airfield in August 1971. The first prototype crashed on its second flight. (Cradle of Aviation Museum)
The second F-14 prototype takes off from Grumman’s Calverton, Long Island, airfield in August 1971. The first prototype crashed on its second flight. (Cradle of Aviation Museum)

The TF30 was prone to compressor stalls and surges when operated at high angles of attack or yaw if the power levers were moved too aggressively—common during air combat maneuvering. The Tomcat’s engines were mounted about nine feet apart, to allow room between them for missile carriage and to create a large lifting surface. (More than half of an F-14’s total lift comes from what Grumman called the pancake—the surface area between the engine nacelles.) So when one of the engines lost power from a compressor stall, the resultant yaw could be sudden and scary, sometimes resulting in an unrecoverable flat spin. Compressor stalls led to the loss of more than 40 F-14s. Had the early Tomcats ever gone into serious combat, more of them might have been lost to compressor stalls than to enemy action. 

Some Tomcat crews described their mount as “a nice aircraft powered by two pieces of junk.” For the sake of airframe longevity, the Tomcat was in practical terms limited to 6.5 Gs, while an F-15 could pull 9 Gs. (So could a Tomcat, at high enough speeds, but the airplane then had to undergo a complex over-G inspection.) The difference was also attributed to TF30 engine limitations.

The F-14 was a difficult airplane to handle in the final stages of a carrier landing, in part because of its tendency to hunt laterally while trying to achieve a stabilized approach. The fact that the F-14 had spoilers rather than ailerons didn’t help, nor did its high pitch inertia, which made it float during the final stages of an approach. (These problems were ultimately corrected when Tomcats were fitted with digital flight-control systems.)

The TF30 was never intended to be the F-14’s duty engine. It was used simply to get the Tomcat project airborne and into flight test and initial service. The TF30 was to be replaced by an ephemeral Advanced Technology Engine that was being developed for the F-15—the Pratt & Whitney F401. The ATE never materialized, so Tomcats sailored on with the TF30 until near the end of the production run, when a good General Electric engine, the F110, became available and created the F-14D as well as some retrofitted A models that were labeled F-14A+ (later redesignated F-14Bs).

In 1984 Secretary of the Navy John Lehman, a former naval aviator, said the TF30/F-14 combo was “probably the worst engine-airplane mismatch we have had in many years. The TF30 is just a terrible engine….”

An F-14 carries four AIM-54 Phoenix missiles under its fuselage, along with AIM-7 Sparrows and AIM-9 Sidewinders on wing hardpoints. (PF-[aircraft]/Alamy)
An F-14 carries four AIM-54 Phoenix missiles under its fuselage, along with AIM-7 Sparrows and AIM-9 Sidewinders on wing hardpoints. (PF-[aircraft]/Alamy)

The Tomcat was built around an enormous super-missile, the AIM-54A Phoenix, which weighed almost half a ton, was 13 feet long and 53 bank car loan login inches in diameter and cost half a million dollars to fire. At the time it was the most sophisticated and expensive air-to-air missile in the world. The Tomcat could carry six, but since four was the most that could be brought back to the ship, that was the normal loadout. The Phoenix was originally designed for use against slow-moving bombers with huge radar signatures and it wasn’t nearly as much of a threat to fighters with savvy pilots.

The F-14 was the only aircraft ever to use Phoe­nixes operationally. In a carefully orchestrated live-fire test, a Tomcat loosed all of its Phoenixes within 38 seconds at a distant skyful of pilotless airplanes and target drones. One of the missiles failed, but of the five that flew, four scored direct hits and the fifth detonated near enough to its target to be considered a “lethal miss.” Unfortunately, combat is not so carefully orchestrated. In Janu­ary 1999, a pair of Tomcats fired two Phoenixes at Iraqi MiG-25s south of Bagh­dad. Both missed. Eight months later, an F-14 launched a Phoenix at an Iraqi MiG-23. Again, it missed as the target fled. It was the last time the Navy ever fired a Phoenix in anger.

Had the live-fire test been a failure, the Tomcat program might have been aborted, since it was already in trouble from cost overruns, schedule slippage and several test-flight crashes. The most notorious crash took out the first prototype on only its second flight, when a vibratory failure of all three hydraulic systems—main, backup and a limited “combat backup” system—rendered the airplane uncontrollable on short final to Grumman’s Calverton, Long Island, airfield. The crew ejected and came within an ace of parachuting into the Tomcat’s fireball.

The Phoenix followed an eject-launch flight path rather than being rail-launched. “Firing” it meant dropping it like a bomb, since its powerful engine needed to be well below the F-14 before igniting. Once the solid propellant lit off, the Phoenix immediately soared to 80,000 feet and accelerated to Mach 5 toward its target. Above that target and coasting, the Phoenix dove steeply down on it, substituting kinetic energy for the spent force of its motor.

The Phoenix’s maximum range has been quoted as 125 miles, but effectively it was somewhat less. Target acquisition and missile launch assumed that the two aircraft were beak-to-beak at high speed, so the actual impact would take place when the Tomcat’s opponent was substantially closer. An effective Phoenix countermeasure was to simply turn away from the missile and let it expire, assuming an attacker had an accompanying AWACS-type overseer to call out the Phoenix launch.

A Tomcat from the VF-111 “Sundowners” launches an AIM-54C. (U.S. Navy)
A Tomcat from the VF-111 “Sundowners” launches an AIM-54C. (U.S. Navy)

An essential component of the Phoenix system was the F-14’s planar-array Hughes radar. When the Tomcat went into fleet service, the yard-wide AWG-9 dish was capable of tracking 24 targets simultaneously and directing missiles at six of them. At the time that was unprecedented, but the Hughes radar was still a complex, hard-to-maintain, 1960s analog system. 

The early Tomcat’s avionics, including the radar, badly needed upgrading to include high-speed multiplex digital data busses, multifunction cockpit displays, head-up displays and other state-of-the-art features already common in the Air Force’s fourth-generation fighters, the F-15 and F-16. The Tomcat was increasingly an analog airplane in a digital age. The advent of the F-14B and then the F-14D solved those issues. 

The D model was in fact an all-digital strike fighter. It carried a remarkable new radar “that gave it an enormous increase in effectiveness…against stealthy aircraft,” wrote Rear Adm. Paul T. Gillcrist in his comprehensive book Tomcat!“Its capability against all types of targets in an electronic warfare environment [was] vastly improved.” The F-14D also had IRST (Infrared Search and Track), a passive sensor that was accurate at shorter ranges and almost impossible for opponents to detect. The fighter’s new glass cockpit, digital avionics and greatly enhanced datalink increased the crew’s situational awareness. The F-14D was a true multi-mission aircraft and its proponents believed it was a better strike fighter than the vaunted F-15E Strike Eagle. Unfortunately, the F-14D didn’t reach the fleet until 1990, a year before Tomcat production was defunded, and only 37 units were built.

As it was, the complex F-14 was difficult to service and maintain aboard carriers. Most estimates held that Tomcats required anywhere from 30 to 60 hours of maintenance per hour flown—about three times as much as the F/A-18 Hornets that replaced them. One result was that Grumman, Hughes, Raytheon and other companies sent civilian tech reps to carriers to do the heavy lifting, which gave the Navy’s own sailors too little opportunity for on-the-job training. 

The F-14 was assigned to fleet defense but its main task became establishing air superiority, and it took on the duties of an interceptor and tactical attack fighter with all-weather capability and great range. With excellent visibility (the Tomcat was the first U.S. fighter since the Korean War with a 360-degree-view canopy), 20mm cannon, automatic maneuvering flaps and dogfight radar mode, it was well suited to the task. Recon capability followed as the Navy phased out its Vought RF-8 Crusaders and North American RA-5 Vigilantes. Toms were fitted with big belly pods called TARPS (Tactical Air Reconnaissance Pod System). A TARPS was more than 17 feet long and weighed almost a ton, filled with electronic and photo-snooping gear.

In the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm, an F-14A from VF-114 flies over oil well fires in Kuwait in August 1991. (U.S. Navy)
In the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm, an F-14A from VF-114 flies over oil well fires in Kuwait in August 1991. (U.S. Navy)

The final iteration of the F-14 was nicknamed the “Bombcat.” It was fitted out as a fighter-bomber intended to serve as a self-escorting ground-attack aircraft. The Bombcat saw more action over the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan against the Taliban and al Qaeda than the F-14 ever did as an air-superiority fighter.

Were it not for the Shah of Iran, there might never have been an F-14. Iran was the only foreign country ever to operate Tomcats, and it does to this day. The Iranians purchased an armada for $2 billion in 1974—at the time the single highest-value sale of military equipment in U.S. history—back when the shah was one of America’s few allies in the Mideast. But he had to make sure Grumman stayed in business in order to get his airplanes.

The company had signed a fixed-price contract with the Navy to produce the fighter, but the early 1970s were an inflationary time, and the price of materials—particularly titanium—rose so rapidly that Grumman was at one point losing a million dollars on each Tomcat it built. Things looked bad for the airframer, until the shah stepped in with a $75 million loan.

The shah wanted the Grumman product, but a flyoff against the F-15 Eagle had to be arranged to at least give the appearance of a competition. The F-15, besides being the darling of the Air Force fighter community, had a higher thrust-to-weight ratio and would have outperformed the Tomcat, all things being equal.

But they weren’t. A coin toss allowed the Air Force crew to fly first, and while they did, the F-14 sat waiting its turn on a distant run-up pad. The pilot had set his power levers as far forward as he dared, and while the Eagle flew its strictly defined 12-minute program, he burned off part of his fuel load and took off a good bit lighter than the demo rules had postulated.

The Grumman crew had also noted during its weather briefing that there was a distinct wind shear at 1,000 feet, with the flow nearly reversing itself from what was happening on the ground. So they flew their demonstration pattern in the opposite direction from what the Air Force had done, and their slow-flight passes abeam the shah’s viewing bleachers appeared far more graceful than the Eagle’s, thanks to the headwind. The shah was sold.

Delivery of the Iranian Tomcats began in 1976, accompanied by 284 Phoenix missiles. The Iranians had far better results from Phoenix launches, shooting down dozens of Iraqi opponents during their 1980s war.

Three years later, the shah was deposed and the F-14s became the property of the Iranian revolutionary air force. Seventy-nine of the 80 purchased, plus the missiles, had been delivered, but most of them soon became unflyable. The U.S. refused to support the complex airplanes and Iran quickly ran out of spare parts. Hangar queens were cannibalized and eventually only a dozen Iranian F-14s remained flyable. 

Six Iranian pilots credited with at least 31 victories during the Iran-Iraq War pose with an F-14. (HistoryNet Archives)
Six Iranian pilots credited with at least 31 victories during the Iran-Iraq War pose with an F-14. (HistoryNet Archives)

Beginning in the late 1990s, illicit F-14 parts were finding their way from the U.S. (and Israel) to Iran. In 2007 federal agents seized four intact Tomcats in California. Three were in museums and a fourth was in the hands of the TV series “JAG,” which used the airplane in ground scenes numerous times. The stir ultimately resulted in the destruction of virtually all of the 150-odd retired Tomcats parked at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base boneyard.

Today, however, Iran has put some 40 Tomcats back in the air carrying an improved Iranian version of the Phoenix, thanks to advances in the country’s capabilities and the use of such technologies as 3D printing for the manufacture of spares. They are the only active F-14s in the world. Many are virtually new, having been unflown for decades. But they’d be no match for F-22 Raptors or F-35s, or even Navy F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets.

For all its faults, no airplane has ever done as much for the Navy as a recruiting tool as did the Tomcat—not even the Blue Angels’ various mounts. The Blues never flew F-14s, which were far too expensive to maintain for a non­com­bat PR team, nor were their swing wings adaptable to close-order formations. In the year after the 1986 Tom Cruise film Top Gun was released, Navy recruitment jumped by 500 percent, and the sea service added an unexpected 16,000 uniformed personnel to its ranks. Every air-minded kid in the country wanted to grow up to fly a Tomcat. 

Like James Bond’s Aston Martin, the Tomcat’s cinematic notoriety considerably exceeded its real-world accomplishments. The program was canceled in 1991 after 712 units had been manufactured, versus 5,195 of its F-4 predecessor and 1,480 of the F/A-18 Hornet successor (both of which have flown in more than one U.S. military branch and multiple foreign services).

The demise of the Tomcat meant the end of Grum­man as an airframer. The company was bought by Northrop in 1994 and found itself in the space and electronics business, leaving the Navy with Boeing, which had merged with McDon­nell Douglas, as its sole-source fighter supplier.

No matter how many Top Gun fans proclaimed that the Tomcat was “so cool,” nothing could save even the much-improved F-14D. F 14 super tomcat 21 once again that coolness is not a mission requirement.  

 

For further reading, contributing editor Stephan Wilkinson recommends: Grumman F-14 Tomcat Owners’ Workshop Manual, by Tony Holmes; F-14, by Mike Spick; Tomcat! The Grumman F-14 Story, by Rear Admiral Paul T. Gillcrist; and F-14 Tomcat, by David F. Brown.

This feature appeared in the March 2021 issue of Aviation History. Click here to subscribe today!

 

Источник: https://www.historynet.com/tomcatting-why-the-grumman-f-14-never-lived-up-to-its-reputation.htm

Advanced Tomcat Variants

Overview

In 1989, against a backdrop of improving superpower relations, uncertainty over the future of the NATF (Naval ATF) and A-12 f 14 super tomcat 21 and the looming possibility of reduced defence budgets Grumman proposed to the Navy three updated versions of the F-14D. None of these aircraft ever progressed beyond model form, but if they had progressed they would have been 'third generation' F-14's and among the most advanced and capable aircraft flying today. The three variants were Quickstrike, Tomcat 21, Attack Super Tomcat 21 (later known as ASF-14).

If anyone can provide more information or drawings of any of these designs I would be very interested and grateful. I know Aviation Week ran a series of articles on the designs, during 1989-91, and would be very interested in getting my hands on these issues. The sources used in the writing of this article are not always wholly clear about which improvements are found on which proposal, especially the Tomcat 21 variants. Help from anyone who worked on or has memories of the proposals would be very welcome.

Quickstrike

As the name suggests the Quickstrike was a limited upgrade to the present F-14D. It would have produced a long range strike fighter, capable of replacing the A-6 and thus making up for the cancellation of the A-12. Having learnt from the Air Force's F-15E program how well a 'pure' air-to-air fighter could be transformed into an air-to-ground attack aircraft the Navy proposed doing roughly the same to the F-14 as the Air Force had done to the F-15. The two main upgrades to the Quickstrike were to be extra modes for the AN/APG-71 radar and FLIR pods for navigation and targeting. The extra radar modes were to have included synthetic aperture (SAR) and Doppler Beam Sharpening, allowing for accurate ground mapping. These would allow the radar to generate high quality images of navigation waypoints and targets. The FLIR pods would be very similar to those used in the F-15E, mounted under the fuselage in the aerodynamic fairings that are presently used for the Phoenix missiles. As with the F-15E one pod would have been used for navigation, using a wide angle FLIR, while the other would have been used for targeting, using a narrow angle FLIR and incorporating a laser designator.
To allow the crew to make full use of these upgrades the cockpit would have been improved with the addition of a moving map display, new HUD (presumably compatible with infra red imagery from the FLIR) and head down FLIR displays. The RIO's cockpit would have been changed to allow him to view FLIR imagery and control the laser designator.
The munitions carrying capability of the Quickstrike would have been considerable. Four underfuselage hardpoints would each have carried five substations. The wing glove pylons would each carry two substations. Fully loaded up the Quickstrike would have carried 24 air to ground munitions, probably Mk20's or Mk84 500lb bombs. Heavier weapons would be carried in smaller numbers. Perhaps most important would have been the addition of standoff weapons to the F-14's arsenal. Quickstrike would have added LGB's, AGM-84E SLAM, AGM-84 Harpoon, AGM-65 Maverick and Bb king lucille instrumental HARM, presumably to be followed at a later date by AGM-154 JSOW and GAM.
While the Quickstrike would have been an impressive improvement to the F-14's capabilities it was killed by the Navy's selection of the F/A-18E/F as the best platform for future long range strike roles.

Tomcat 21

Tomcat 21

Tomcat 21 was a more far reaching modification to the F-14D. Using ideas from the Quickstrike proposal Grumman developed the design as a lower cost, multi-role alternative to the NATF. Quickstrike was mainly an avionic and systems upgrade, however to this Tomcat 21 added reshaped wing gloves, which roughly matched the profile of a standard Tomcat glove with the vanes extended. These added around 1,134kg (2,500lb) of fuel. Wing flaps were also to be modified, using a single slotted Fowler type flap. Slats and spoilers were also to be modified. This would have provided 33% extra lift on approach to the carrier, enough to make up for the extra fuel and avionics. The all moving tailplanes would also be enlarged, by extending the trailing edge.
With the increased fuel, structural changes and avionics the empty weight of the Tomcat 21 was expected to be only 454kg (1,100lb) than that of the F-14D. Due to the increased fuel capacity gross weight was expected to increase from 33,070kg (72,900lb) to 34,470kg (76,000lb).
Like the Quickstrike Tomcat 21 would carry nav-attack FLIRS, either the LANTIRN system or Night Owl pods from Ford Aerospace. Again these would be mounted in the front of the aerodynamic Phoenix fairings (which house the cooling oil system for early model AIM-54's on the F-14A and B. The D does not have this system). The laser designator for the Night Owl system would be carried in the undernose twin pod.
In addition to the FLIRS the AN/APG-71 would have been further modified, giving it an ISAR (Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar) capability, improved look down/shoot down capabilities over land and a 20% increase in target acquisition range.
At a time when high cost designs were being killed at a prodigious rate Grumman was quietly confident that the relatively low cost Tomcat 21 would see production. Its anticipated development costs were $989 million, with the first flight in 1993 (if the go ahead was given in 1990). Production models were expected to begin delivery in 1996. 490 Tomcat 21's were projected, a mix of 233 new build (cost $39 million apiece) and 257 remanufactured aircraft from F-14B/D's (cost $21 million apiece). Which FY these prices were calculated for I do not know.

Attack Super Tomcat 21 (ASF-14)

If the Tomcat 21 was a relatively low cost structural modification to the F-14D then the Attack Super Tomcat 21 (hereafter referred to as AST-21) was the most advanced derivative Grumman could make, both in terms of aerodynamics and avionics.
As well as the structural changes mentioned above the AST-21 would have thicker outer wing panels, allowing even more fuel to be carried. Larger external fuel tanks would also be developed. Flaps and slats would be further refined, reducing approach speeds by 18mph.
A new version of the F110, the GE F110-GE-129 would power the aircraft, giving the capital credit union online banking login for the AST-21 to supercruise (achieve and sustain supersonic flight without need for fuel hungry afterburners) at up to Mach 1.3. Vectoring nozzles were also considered, but felt unnecessary when the design displayed a 77 degree angle of attack without the vectoring nozzles.
To aid servicing and repairs all maintenance controls would be grouped onto a single panel.
In the cockpit each crewmember would receive colour MFD's and helmet mounted displays. A single piece forward canopy would replace the present windscreen, enabling full all round vision for the first time.
Carrying the nav-attack FLIRS of the other variants the AST-21 would replace the AN/APG-71 with an electronically scanned unit, incorporating a host of air-to-air and air-to-ground modes. This would have twice the power of the AN/APG-71 and be among the biggest leaps in capability. Some reports suggest this radar would have been that developed for the A-12. Defensive electronics would also have been upgraded, with the AST-21 carrying 135 packets of chaff/flares in launchers on the LAU-7 missile rails.
At present it is unclear whether the ASF-14 differed in any notable way from the AST-21, but the former was the designation used when the Navy carried out a serious study of the Grumman proposals in 1994. Unfortunately for Grumman the study decided the ASF-14 to be unaffordable. As a result the Navy moved ahead with its present plans to develop the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet variants.

Epilogue

After the ASF-14 was formally shelved a COEA (Cost and Operational Effectiveness Analysis) study was ordered to look at other means of turning the F-14 into a precision strike platform, preferably at the lowest cost possible. Completed in December of 1994 a report published one year later which urged a stand alone laser designator and FLIR. As a result a contract was issued to Lockheed Martin for integration of the LANTIRN system ont the F-14. This program is continuing apace, with nearly half of all F-14 squadrons having received Tomcat's modified to carry the pods. At present the main problem is lack of pods, the Navy has so far only bought 13, although more are on order I believe.
What the future holds for the F-14 is uncertain, present plans have the type phased out at the rate of one squadron a year, beginning with VF-14 in FY1999, replaced by the F/A-18E (VF-14 only) and F/A-18F (all other VF squadrons). This would see all variants of the F-14 out of the inventory by 2010. However it should be noted that in US defence plans very little is set in stone. The early 1997 publication of the Quadrennial Defence Review (QDR) urged Congress to cut production of the Super Hornet by almost 50%, from just over 1000 to 548 units. If this does happen it is unclear whether it will mean the F-14 will serve for longer, or whether squadrons equipped with the F/A-18C/D will have to wait longer to reequip. If the F-14 stays in service longer than planned further limited upgrades are possible, although it is unlikely that anything on the scale of the Tomcat 21 variants will be attempted.

[Main Page][F-14A] [F-14B][F-14D][Tomcat 21][Atlantic Fleet Squadron Histories][Pacific Fleet Squadron Histories][F-14A Images][F-14B Images][F-14D Images][F-14 Model Kits][US Navy Air Wings][A-6 images]

Источник: http://www.topedge.com/alley/text/other/tomcat21.htm

Super F-14 Tomcat: Why the Navy Said No To This Amazing Fighter

Not long ago, we explored the reasons the legendary F-14 Tomcat found itself sent out to pasturedecades before its fighter classmates from the 1970s, but there’s more to the tale of Grumman’s incredible fighter and its efforts to find a place in a post-Cold War fleet. In the early 1990’s, Grumman proposed a new iteration of the famed Top Gun fighter that was not only modern enough to still be in service today, it would have marked a vast improvement in performance and capability over even Maverick’s highly capable F-14D.

While the F-14D took on the title “Super Tomcat,” this effort to modernize the F-14 began under the moniker “ST21,” which, appropriately enough, stood for “Super Tomcat for the 21st Century,” and make no mistake — that’s exactly what it could have been.

The Navy needed a fighter with attack capabilities

In 1988, a joint team from McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics was awarded a development contract for what was to become the A-12 Avenger II, not to be confused with Lockheed’s proposed A-12 of the 1960s, which sought to arm an SR-71 sibling jet with air-to-air weapon systems. Once completed, the Navy’s A-12 would have been a flying wing-design reminiscent of Northrop Grumman’s B-2 Spirit or forthcoming B-21 Raider, though much smaller and more triangular; earning it the nickname “Flying Dorito.”

Once completed, the A-12 would have actually been the world’s first true stealth fighter, thanks to the inclusion of onboard radar and the ability to leverage AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles — but by 1991, the Flying Dorito was shot down by its own massive budget overruns and technical delays. You can read more about that in our full feature on the A-12 program here, but suffice to say, its cancelation left the Navy with a strike capability gap it needed to fill, especially with the A-6 Intruder’s retirement looming on the horizon.

The Tomcat had been designed from the very onset with air-to-air combat as a primary focus, with an emphasis placed on covering a great deal of ground very quickly while carrying a heavy payload of advanced AIM-54 Phoenix missiles to intercept approaching Soviet bombers. Grumman, recognizing the Navy’s need for an aircraft capable of filling the attack role, proposed a fairly inexpensive facelift for the Navy’s Tomcat fleet dubbed the F-14 Quick Strike. The Quick Strike upgrade would incorporate an infrared navigation and targeting pod similar to the LANTIRN system that found its way into the F-15E and F-16 along with upgrades to the aircraft’s powerful onboard radar for ground-attack modes. The addition of more hardpoints for standoff munitions rounded out the proposal as an economic-seeming solution.

An F-14 for the 21st Century

Of course, as we’ve discussed at length in the past, economic was never really the Tomcat’s specialty, and the Navy wasn’t particularly interested in expanding the role of its expensive and sometimes problematic F-14 fleets as they stood. To make matters worse for Grumman, McDonnell Douglas was rumored to be hard at work on development of a practically clean-sheet fighter modeled after the Navy’s other carrier-fighter, the F/A-18 Hornet.

McDonnell Douglas’ plan was to present the Navy with a new, more advanced fighter that could fill a broad swath of roles for the Navy, but delivered in a package that looked and sounded like a continuation of the successful Hornet lineage. Not only would that make the aircraft sound proven and reliable, it would be perceived as less expensive than funding development on a new fighter.

Grumman opted to offer an even more heavily upgraded iteration of the F-14 that could come as new aircraft or through remanufacture of existing platforms. The resulting ST21 (Super Tomcat for the 21st Century) and subsequent AST21(Attack Super Tomcat for the 21st Century) were designs that could have catapulted the Tomcat straight into the coming millennium it drew its name from.

Cramming a new fighter under the Tomcat’s hood

Despite the incredible capabilities offered by the most modern F-14Ds of the day, the Tomcat’s design was already more than twenty years old by the time discussion about the Super Tomcat 21 began. Often, when discussing fighter programs that are trying to stay relevant amid rapid technological progress, a dated design is something engineers are trying to compensate for, but in many ways, the Tomcat’s dated layout created a glutton of opportunity when it came to introducing new technologies to the aircraft.

Leveraging lessons learned from more than a decade and a half of service, the Super Tomcat 21 eliminated the “glove vanes” that were located just outside of each wingroot. These glove vanes were designed to create lift ahead of the aircraft’s center of gravity at supersonic speeds above Mach 1.4, pressing the nose of the aircraft up and unloading the tail planes to allow for greater high-speed maneuverability. However, the systems that controlled these planes were a maintenance nightmare, and they were eventually welded shut on most aircraft.

In place of those problematic glove vanes, the ST21 and AST21 incorporated enlarged aerodynamic gloves that offered massive benefits f 14 super tomcat 21 terms supersonic handling and dogfighting performance while simultaneously providing room for an additional 2,200 pounds of fuel storage in each wing, granting the aircraft even greater range.

When the F-14 first took to the skies with its incredible AIM-54A Phoenix missile, the fighter had to include rail fairings to house the missile’s oil cooling system, but by the ’90s, the Navy had upgraded to AIM-54B and C iterations of the missile, neither of which required the F-14 to manage oil cooling duties. In place of these systems, the Super Tomcat 21 would house navigation and attack FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared Sensors) in these rail fairings.

Data from those systems would be fed into an entirely glass cockpit with dramatically improved avionics, a wide-angle Heads Up Display (HUD) that could project imagery from the navigational FLIR pod, upgraded APG-71 radar, and entirely new mission computers, making the Tomcat into a dated-looking fighter with the most advanced avionics available at the time.

The AST21 was largely a continuation of the ST21 design, with additional bomb-carrying pylons, a modified radar system with a Forward Air Controller (FAC) mode, an Integrated Defensive Avionics Package (IDAP), and nuclear weapons carrying capabilities.

More power, more speed, and more range

Both Super Tomcat 21 iterations saw the use of upgraded GE-F110-129 turbofan engines, in keeping with the Navy’s ongoing efforts (at the time) to replace the troubled Pratt & Whitney TF30 in their Tomcat fleets. The use of these engines in conjunction with the increased fuel capacity and improved wing aerodynamics resulted in what could have been an astonishingly capable fighter that may have been further bolstered by the inclusion of thrust vectoring nozzles taking their cues from the aircraft’s new flight computer.

The GE-F110-129 was not only a massive improvement over the TF30 still filling the fuselages of some Tomcats into the early 2000s, it was also an improvement over the F110’s the Navy’s best Tomcats employed. With approximately 30,000 pounds of thrust available from each engine under afterburner and a more efficient design, the new Tomcat would have been able to fly further than ever before at higher sustained speeds. In fact, the Super Tomcat 21 would have been able to super-cruise, or fly at supersonic speeds without the use of its afterburner, at a sustained jaw-dropping Mach 1.3.

Thrust vectoring nozzles, if the Navy had opted to include them, would have taken the new fighter’s maneuverability to a positively mind-boggling level when leveraged in conjunction with its automated sweep-wing design. According to some sources, the AST21 would have already been able to sustain 77 degrees of sustained AoA (angle of attack) thanks to the aircraft’s planned aerodynamic improvements, and thrust vector control would have pushed that even further.

With wing position controlled by an contact capital one customer service computer for maximum benefit, the massive (in comparison) F-14 could already turn tighter than its tiny Air Force sibling, the F-16 Fighting Falcon, under the right circumstances. The addition of thrust-vectoring would not only have improved upon that already-impressive Angle of Attack figure, it likely would have made the Super Tomcat 21 the most acrobatic and maneuverable fighter not just of its era, but likely for decades yet to come.

Thrust vector control effectively aims the outflow of the engine’s thrust independent of the aircraft itself. This can allow the aircraft to literally continue to push forward in the sky while pointing its nose (and weapons) down at an opponent, as well as allowing for rapid maneuvering that seems to defy the laws of physics when shown on video.

Thrust vector control has long been an important element in Russian fighter design based on their emphasis on within-visual-range fights (dogfights), but within America stables, it can only be found on the ranking king of the skies, F-22 Raptor.

But Grumman wasn’t done yet. If the Navy didn’t think the ST21 or the AST21 designs were capable enough, they had one more ace up their sleeve.

ASF-14: The ultimate Tomcat

While both the ST21 and AST21 were billed as both re-manufacture programs for existing Tomcats and new-build aircraft, Grumman’s pitch to the Navy eventually included an entirely new-build Tomcat dubbed the ASF-14. The ASF-14 would have looked like its F-14 predecessors, but the similarities would have been largely skin deep.

While the Super Tomcat 21 designs would have increased the Tomcat’s internal fuel storage to 18,500 pounds, the Hsbc bank usa credit card login design added thicker wings (much like the Super Hornet versus the Hornet) to further increase fuel capacity. Other improvements over the ST21 and AST21 designs largely revolved around the fact that the ASF-14 would be an entirely new aircraft, so Grumman wouldn’t be stuck working with many of the bulky legacy subsystems that an upgrade/remanufacture program would leave in place as a cost and time-saving measure.

That would mean this new “ultimate” Tomcat’s internals would have been state-of-the-air from nose to tail. Dated and bulky electrical systems would have been replaced with modern modular systems that would not only improve performance and reduce weight, but would have made subsequent improvements cheaper and less time consuming. Perhaps most important to the Tomcat’s ability to survive budget cuts, its troublesome electronic and hydraulic systems that made the aircraft such a maintenance nightmare would have been gutted in favor of modern systems that required less upkeep and weighed substantially less. Even parts of the aircraft that had always worked well would see improvements in materials used, with carbon fiber replacing titanium or aluminum in a number of components.

In fact, even with carrying all that extra fuel, the new ASF-14 Super (Duper?) Tomcat would have weighed in at very close or perhaps even less than the Navy’s existing F-14s thanks to the massive weight savings allowed by the ASF-14 design.

When it first took to the skies, the Tomcat was built to house the massive and incredibly powerful Hughes AWG-9 fire control radar, which remains the largest radar system ever employed by an American fighter. All that real estate would have come in handy for a large active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for air-to-air and air-to-ground operations.

The ASF-14, with some 60,000 pounds of thrust and a better thrust-to-weight ratio than the F-14D, thrust vector control, massive internal fuel stores, huge payload capabilities, and incredible situational awareness provided by powerful onboard radar and a multitude of sensor pods, could have been a 4th generation fighter with few — or maybe no — peers to this very day.

The Super Tomcat versus the Super Hornet

So if these designs were so good, how did find ourselves here, waxing poetic about how incredible they could have been? Well, like all military acquisitions, the Navy had to balance capability with capacity, mission requirements with budgets, and public perception with military doctrine. The Super Hornet the Navy ultimately chose doesn’t stir the same passion among many aviation fans as the F-14 Tomcat for many of the same reasons it’s proven itself to be such a solid choice for the Navy: It’s a little boring compared to the high drama that comes as part of the F-14’s package.

In a lot of ways, the F-14 was like Rocky of movie fame: a troubled past and a rocky start ultimately produces an American powerhouse that becomes the star of its own movie. Couple that with the F-14D’s genuinely incredible performance and the near-constant threat of nuclear Armageddon and its no wonder we fell in love with this dynamic aircraft.

The Super Hornet, on the other hand, has been characterized as an “80%” solution to the Navy’s litany of problems at the time. It’s not as fast or as powerful as many other fighters and it certainly lacks the range of the F-14, let alone the steroid-injected range of the ASF-14… but it’s reliable, efficient, and battle proven. In fact, America’s only air-to-air kill of the past two decades was scored by a Super Hornet.

It’s tough to argue that the Navy made the wrong call with the Super Hornet, as its reliability and efficiency were both on full display throughout the past two decades of the Global War on Terror. But now, as the the U.S. shifts its focus back toward Great Power Competition, the ASF-14, with it’s insane range, powerful radar, bonkers speed, and spine-crunching agility, looks as appealing as any non-stealth fighter could.

America’s carrier-based fighters are struggling with a lack of range today, something numerous programs are currently working to offset, thanks in large part to the size of China’s area denial bubble created by hypersonic anti-ship missile systems. The Super Tomcat 21 or ASF-14 would lack stealth, just like the Super Hornet, but they could have had the legs they’d essa bank and trust to engage those weapons while keeping America’s carrier’s safely out of range. Today’s F-35Cs and F/A-18s simply don’t.

Of course, aviation technology continues to steam ahead, and even if the ASF-14 had entered service by the end of the 1990s, it would likely still be flying toward an early retirement in favor of the Navy’s F/A-XX fighter being developed in conjunction with the Air Force in the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program. With stealth increasingly a ashley furniture credit card payment number for new designs, it seems the years of people saying “they never should f 14 super tomcat 21 retired the F-14” may soon be coming to an end.

But for now, those of you who have long reveled in that salty declaration can rest easy knowing that the Super Tomcat 21 or ASF-14 could have been some of the greatest fighters the world has ever seen.

Alex Hollings is a writer, dad, and Marine veteran who specializes in foreign policy and defense technology analysis. He holds a master’s degree in Communications from Southern New Hampshire University, as well as a bachelor’s f 14 super tomcat 21 in Corporate and F 14 super tomcat 21 Communications from Framingham State University. This first appeared in Sandboxx news. 

F-14, F-14 Tomcat, Military, NotHome, Super F-14, Super F-14 Tomcat

Sandboxx News is a digital and print military media outlet focused on the lives, experiences, and challenges facing today’s service members and America’s defense apparatus. Built on the simple premise that service members and their supporters need a reliable news outlet free of partisan politics and sensationalism, Sandboxx News delivers stories from around the world f 14 super tomcat 21 insights into the U.S. Military’s past, present, and future– delivered through the lens of real veterans, service members, military spouses, and professional journalists.

Источник: https://www.19fortyfive.com/2021/11/super-f-14-tomcat-why-the-navy-said-no-to-this-amazing-fighter/

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Manufacturer:
Grumman
Country:
north texas orthopedics denton United States
Manufactured:
ag homes savings and loans plc website 1969 to: 1991
ICAO:
F14
Price: f 14 super tomcat 21
US$50 million
Avionics:
Hughes AN/AWG-9, AN/ALR-23, Raytheon AN/APG-71
Engine:
2x General Electric F110-GE-400
Turbofan
Power:
27,800 pound-force
Max Cruise Speed:
1342 knots
2,485 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref):
125 knots
Travel range:
into the west scene 1,600 Nautical Miles
2,963 Kilometers
Fuel Economy:
0.78 nautical mile / gallon
0.382 kilometres / litre
Service Ceiling:
56,000 feet
Rate of Climb:
45000 feet / minute
228.60metre / second
Take Off Distance:
762 metre - 2,499.97 feet
Landing Distance:
732 metre - 2,401.55 feet
Max Take Off Weight:
33,725 Kg
74,350 lbs
Max Landing Weight:
Max Payload:
6,600 Kg
14,550 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
2,985 gallon
11,299 litre
Baggage Volume:
Seats - Economy / General:
2 seats
Seats - Business Class:
0
Seats - First Class:
0
Cabin Height:
Cabin Width:
Cabin Length:
Exterior Length:
19.1 metre - 62.66 feet
Tail height:
4.9 metre - 16.08 feet
Fuselage Diameter:
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter:
19.55 metre - 64.14 feet
Wing Tips:
No Winglets

click / tap to open full screen gallery

Blog Mentions

Blog posts that mention the Grumman F-14 Tomcat:

Источник: https://aerocorner.com/aircraft/grumman-f-14-tomcat/
acc. datetypereg.operatorfat.location dmg  30-DEC-1970Grumman F-14A-1-GR Tomcat157980US Navy0Calverton NYmexican mortgages for us citizens F-14A TomcatUnited States Navy (USN)USS Enterprisew/o21-JUN-1976Grumman F-14A Tomcat159838US Navy2NAS Miramar, San Diego, CAw/o14-SEP-1976Grumman F-14A Tomcat159588US Navy0North Sea/Forth of Firthw/o19-DEC-1976Grumman F-14A Tomcat159464VF-2 US Navy0South China Seaw/o22-FEB-1977Grumman F-14A Tomcat158619US Navy NATC2near NAS Patuxent Riverw/o27-MAR-1978Grumman F-14A Tomcat158995US Navy1San Diego, CAw/o03-MAR-1980Grumman F-14A Tomcat160916US Navyw/o06-MAR-1980Grumman F-14A Tomcat159601US NavyUSS Eisenhower (VF-142) w/o01-APR-1980Grumman F-14A Tomcat160388US Navyw/o03-MAY-1980Grumman F-14A Tomcat160380VF-84 US Navy2Arabian Sea off Iranw/o13-SEP-1980Grumman F-14A Tomcat159605US Navyw/o04-NOV-1980Grumman F-14A Tomcat160670US Navyw/o24-APR-1981Grumman F-14A Tomcat161157US Navyw/o26-MAY-1981Grumman F-14A Tomcat161138US Navy0ON BOARD USS NIMITZ IN ATLANTIC OCEAN, 70 MILES EAST OF JACKSONVILLE, w/o26-MAY-1981Grumman F-14A Tomcat160385US Navy0On board USS Nimitz (CVN-68)w/o27-JUN-1981Grumman F-14A Tomcat160674US Navyw/o06-JUL-1981Grumman F-14A Tomcat161278US Navyw/o06-SEP-1981Grumman F-14A Tomcat160677US Navyw/o29-SEP-1981Grumman F-14A Tomcat160895US Navy0Red Seaw/o06-FEB-1982Grumman F-14A Tomcat159011US Navy 0Red Seaw/o06-MAR-1982Grumman F-14A Tomcat159599US Navy0Mediterannean Sea off coast of Sardiniamis29-JUL-1982Grumman F-14A Tomcat161143VF-101 US Navy2at Virginia Beachw/o20-SEP-1982Grumman F-14 TomcatUnited States Navy (USN)0Mediterranean Seaw/o16-MAR-1983Grumman F-14A TomcatUnited States Navy (USN)1Norfolk, VIw/o16-MAR-1983Grumman F-14A TomcatUnited States Navy (USN)0Atlantic Oceanw/o16-MAR-1983Grumman F-14A TomcatUnited States Navy (USN)0Atlantic Oceanw/o04-APR-1983Grumman F-14A Tomcat155769US Navyw/o09-APR-1983Grumman F-14A Tomcat160662US Navy2USS Carl Vinsonw/o09-AUG-1983Grumman F-14A Tomcat161423US Navyw/o11-NOV-1983Grumman F-14A Tomcat161149United States Navy (USN)0Mediterranean Seaw/o18-JAN-1984Grumman F-14A Tomcat159840US Navy0w/o20-JUN-1984Grumman F-14A Tomcat161283US Navy1North Arabian Sea - on board USS AMERICAmis15-JUL-1984Grumman F-14A Tomcat159439United States Navy (USN)0North Arabian Seaw/o08-AUG-1984Grumman F-14A Tomcat159859VF-213 US Navy2near NAS Cubi Pointw/o04-SEP-1984Grumman F-14A Tomcat161165VF-211 US Navy0near NAS Miramar, CAw/o31-MAR-1985Grumman F-14A Tomcat160656US Navy0w/o04-APR-1985Grumman F-14A TomcatUS Navyw/o07-MAY-1985Grumman F-14A Tomcat159613US Navyw/o13-JAN-1986Grumman F-14A Tomcat159846United States Navy (USN)2SoCal Operating areamin11-FEB-1986Grumman F-14A Tomcat161290US Navy2Fallon NAS, NVw/o14-FEB-1986Grumman F-14A Tomcat159846US Navy0off Philippinesw/o12-MAR-1986Grumman F-14A Tomcat161613US Navy0USS Constellationw/o26-MAR-1986Grumman F-14A Tomcat160685US Navy0off Miramar NAS, CAw/o18-JUN-1986Grumman F-14A Tomcat161854US Navy1Oceana NAS, VAw/o20-JUN-1986Grumman F-14A Tomcat158983US Navy0Fallon, NVw/o13-AUG-1986Grumman F-14A Amazon prime now login Navy0w/o23-AUG-1986Grumman F-14A Tomcat161148US Navy0Mediterranean Seaw/o02-SEP-1986Grumman F-14A Tomcat160663US Navy0w/o03-SEP-1986Grumman F-14A Tomcat159861US Navy1North Island NAS, CAw/o03-JAN-1987Grumman F-14A Tomcat159431US Navyoff USS John F. Kennedyw/o20-MAR-1987Grumman F-14A Tomcat161614US Navyw/o18-JUN-1987Grumman F-14A Tomcat159421US Navynear Dare County, NCw/o15-JUL-1987Grumman F-14A Tomcat162605US Navyw/o12-AUG-1987Grumman F-14A Tomcat161872US Navyw/o17-AUG-1987Grumman F-14A Tomcat162593US Navyw/o20-SEP-1987Grumman F-14A Tomcat161153US Navyw/o25-MAR-1988Grumman F-14A Tomcat159441US Navy0Atlantic Ocean off Norfolk, VAw/o08-SEP-1988Grumman F-14A Tomcat162609US Navyw/o12-SEP-1988Grumman F-14A Tomcat160409US Navy2Atlantic Ocean off CAPE HATTERAS, NC sub12-SEP-1988Grumman F-14A Tomcat160675US Navy1+5Gillespie Field, Santee, CAw/o22-SEP-1988Grumman F-14A Tomcat162596US Navyw/o26-SEP-1988Grumman F-14A Tomcat161144US Navy0w/o16-DEC-1988Grumman F-14A Tomcat159865US Navyw/o16-DEC-1988Grumman F-14A Tomcat160888US Navyw/o27-JAN-1989Grumman F-14A Tomcat159872US Navy2Arizonaw/o18-APR-1989Grumman F-14A Tomcat162706United States Navy (USN)0off Key West, FLw/o24-JUL-1989Grumman F-14A Tomcat161602United States Navy (USN)w/o02-AUG-1989Grumman F-14A Tomcat161625United States Navy (USN)w/o06-OCT-1989Grumman F-14A Tomcat162690United States Navy (USN)w/o14-NOV-1989Grumman F-14A Tomcat161286US Navy0Gulf of Mexico, 60 miles north-west of Key West, FLmis17-MAY-1990Grumman F-14A Tomcat161298US NavyYuma, AZw/o05-JUN-1990Grumman F-14A Tomcat162702US Navy0off Virginiaw/o18-DEC-1990Grumman F-14A TomcatUS Navyoff Floridaw/o21-JAN-1991Grumman F-14A+ Tomcat161430United States Navy how to access chase account number online Al Asad ABw/o29-JUN-1991Grumman F-14A Tomcat159832US NavySouth China Seaw/o29-JUN-1991Grumman F-14A Tomcat161597US NavySouth China Seaw/o08-JUL-1991Grumman F-14A Tomcat159870US NavySouth China Seaw/o16-JUL-1991Grumman F-14A Tomcat160660US NavyOff coast of San Diegow/o13-JAN-1992Grumman F-14A Tomcat161433US Navyw/o14-JAN-1992Grumman F-14A Tomcat160887US Navyw/o21-FEB-1992Grumman F-14A Tomcat159463United States Navy (USN)9 Miles west of KITTYHAWK, NCw/o16-OCT-1992Grumman F-14A Tomcat159606US Navy0Near Key West NAS, FLmis15-DEC-1992Grumman F-14A Tomcat161861United States Navy (USN)030 mi E of Oregon Inlet, Cape Hatteras, NCw/o23-DEC-1992Grumman F-14A Tomcat162708US Navyw/o18-JAN-1993Grumman F-14A Tomcat162707US Navyw/o25-JAN-1993Grumman F-14A Tomcat162590US Navy0near Miramarw/o15-MAR-1993Grumman F-14B Tomcat163411US Navy2w/o13-APR-1993Grumman F-14D Super Tomcat161154US Navyw/o29-APR-1993Grumman F-14A Tomcat161606United States Navy (USN)0off Japanw/o04-JUN-1993Grumman F-14A Tomcat158981US Navyw/o20-JUL-1993Grumman F-14A Tomcat159843United States Navy (USN)0USS Abraham Lincolnw/o13-SEP-1993Grumman F-14B Tomcat161601US Navyw/o12-FEB-1994Grumman F-14B Tomcat162914US Navy0Adriatic Seaw/o22-FEB-1994Grumman F-14D Super Tomcat159633US NavyPacificw/o11-JUL-1994Grumman F-14A Tomcat162602US Navy0w/o26-AUG-1994Grumman F-14A Tomcat160381US Navy0Goose Creek Island, Pimlico Sound, NCw/o14-SEP-1994Grumman F-14A Tomcat161150US Navy2Atlantic Ocean40 miles south-east of Cape Hatteras, NCmis25-OCT-1994Grumman F-14A Tomcat160390VF-213, US Navy1off San Diego, CAw/o13-JAN-1995Grumman F-14D Super Tomcat159635US Navyoff San Diego, CAw/o
Источник: https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/type/F14

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1 Replies to “F 14 super tomcat 21”

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