A decade before Top Gun the movie: No Points for Second Place

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SgtWookie

Joined Jul 17, 2007
22,226
This film on the development of fighter aircraft technology covers from the dawn of aerial combat (WWI) through the development & deployment of the F-14 Tomcat.


This video is nostalgic for me, as my F-4J squadron was deployed on the USS Forrestal (CV-59) in 1976 (shown in the video), and there were also Navy F-14 Tomcats aboard. They were quite new at the time, and I was not aware of how advanced they were compared to our Phantoms.

Our AWG-10 radars could track a maximum of 1 bogey at a time with our 1,425 Watt Klystron transmitter. The Tomcat's AWG-9 radars could track-while-scan up to 24 targets simultaneously with their 10,000 Watt TWT (Travelling Wave Tube) transmitter! Our AIM-7 Sparrow radar-guided missiles might have a range of a dozen miles, but if our radar broke lock, the missile would "go stupid", missing the target. The AIM-54 Phoenix missiles had many times the range of the Sparrows, and they were truly "fire and forget" with active radar on board. The AIM-120 AMRAAM missile basically replaced the functionality of the AIM-54; not quite the range or payload, but still more than adequate.

Once the Russians capitulated in the early 90s, the mission for the Tomcat basically went away. A few bright Tomcat drivers got the idea to incorporate LANTIRN to add bombing capability, and came up with a real winner.

Tomcats were retired in 2007, as the platform was expensive to purchase, operate/repair, and it burned a lot of jet fuel. Another problem was that Iran was desperately seeking spare parts for their own Tomcats that the Shah had purchased in the early 70s, offering high prices on the black market.

It was decided that the F-18 Hornet would take over the Tomcat's role, and all Tomcats would be stripped of mission critical parts or completely destroyed. You'll see some Tomcats in museums or as "Birds on Sticks", but none are flyable.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
9,985
This film on the development of fighter aircraft technology covers from the dawn of aerial combat (WWI) through the development & deployment of the F-14 Tomcat.


This video is nostalgic for me, as my F-4J squadron was deployed on the USS Forrestal (CV-59) in 1976 (shown in the video), and there were also Navy F-14 Tomcats aboard. They were quite new at the time, and I was not aware of how advanced they were compared to our Phantoms.

Our AWG-10 radars could track a maximum of 1 bogey at a time with our 1,425 Watt Klystron transmitter. The Tomcat's AWG-9 radars could track-while-scan up to 24 targets simultaneously with their 10,000 Watt TWT (Travelling Wave Tube) transmitter! Our AIM-7 Sparrow radar-guided missiles might have a range of a dozen miles, but if our radar broke lock, the missile would "go stupid", missing the target. The AIM-54 Phoenix missiles had many times the range of the Sparrows, and they were truly "fire and forget" with active radar on board. The AIM-120 AMRAAM missile basically replaced the functionality of the AIM-54; not quite the range or payload, but still more than adequate.

Once the Russians capitulated in the early 90s, the mission for the Tomcat basically went away. A few bright Tomcat drivers got the idea to incorporate LANTIRN to add bombing capability, and came up with a real winner.

Tomcats were retired in 2007, as the platform was expensive to purchase, operate/repair, and it burned a lot of jet fuel. Another problem was that Iran was desperately seeking spare parts for their own Tomcats that the Shah had purchased in the early 70s, offering high prices on the black market.

It was decided that the F-18 Hornet would take over the Tomcat's role, and all Tomcats would be stripped of mission critical parts or completely destroyed. You'll see some Tomcats in museums or as "Birds on Sticks", but none are flyable.
We had the great pleasure of getting a target lock from an Iranian F-14 in 1980 on our ship during the hostage rescue mission. Had the mission succeeded there would have likely been the first and only F-14 vs F-14 dogfight in the gulf.
6591253009_98d77465c6_c.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-14_Tomcat_operational_history#:~:text=In April 1980, F-14s,the early stages of execution.
In April 1980, F-14s from VF-41 and VF-84 participated in an effort to free American hostages in Iran. The attempted rescue was called off during the early stages of execution.
Their pilots were very good. We trained the best that Iran had.
https://theaviationgeekclub.com/for...can-gun-and-one-with-the-mim-23-hawk-missile/

 
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