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▶ Long-range fleet interceptor
▶ Recon platform
▶ Fighter bomber
The F-14 Tomcat is the main defender of the U.S. fleet. With its high speed and ultra-long- range weapons, the F-14 can operate hundreds of miles away from its carrier base. The Tomcat AWG-9 radar can engage six targets at once and its Phoenix missiles can kill hostile bombers 90 miles away, before they can launch their attacks. The Tomcat is one of the world's true "Top Guns!"
Tomcat aircrew are an elite within an elite. Pilot and backseat Naval Flight Officer act as a carefully coordinated team to wring the best from the awesome combination of performance, sophistication and firepower at their command.
Defender of the fleet
The Tomcat has been one of the great superfighters of the world since its first squadron took to the skies in 1972. It packs a massive punch, performs superbly and is the warplane of choice for many aspiring military pilots. Nothing is more likely to worry an enemy than to know Tomcats are on his track.
And yet this tremendous fighting machine can operate from a 350-foot strip of aircraft carrier deck, in all weather and around the clock.
Working with K-2C Hawkeye radar planes and using air-to-air refueling, a squadron of Tomcats can sanitize the airspace 400 miles out from the carrier battle group. This ensures that no hostile aircraft will threaten the warships below.
Even sea-skimming missiles can be killed by Tomcats using their Phoenix and AMKAAM missiles.
The fact is that Tomcats and their aircrews have to be good - they are protecting a 10-warship, $15-billion battle group manned by 10,000 sailors projecting as much firepower as the United Kingdom's entire armed forces.
The F-14's swing wings allow it to combine high-speed performance and supersonic maneuverability with docile low-speed handling.
SPECIFICATIONS F-14A Tomcat
Type: Two-seat long-range shipboard fleet defense interceptor, tactical reconnaissance aircraft and fighter-bomber.
Powerplant: Two Pratt & Whitney TF-30-P-412As.
Max speed: 1,584 m.p.h. at 40,000 ft.
Combat radius: 378 mi. on internal fuel; 750 mi. with two 130-gal. tanks.
Service ceiling: 68,900 ft.
Weapons: One 20-mm Vulcan cannon. Six AIM-54 Phoenix missiles or six AIM-7 Sparrow plus four AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles. Up to 14,300 lb. of air- to-ground weapons.
Weight: Maximum takeoff 70,280 lb.
Span 61 ft. 10 in.
Length 62 ft.
Height 16 ft.
Wing area 565 sq. ft.
F14A Tomcat "Pukin' Dogs"
An F-14A Tomcat of VF-143, an Atlantic Fleet fighter squadron nicknamed the "Pukin' Dogs." This world famous unit fought in Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War, and has flown the Tomcat for 20 years.