GREAT PLANES - Grumman F-14 Tomcat (Part 2)
Role Interceptor/multirole fighter aircraft Manufacturer Grumman First flight 21 December 1970 Introduction September 1974 Retired US Navy: 22 September 2006 Status Active service with Iran Primary users United States Navy (former) Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force Number built 712 Unit cost US$38 million in 1998 The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for United States Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental (VFX) program following the collapse of the F-111B project. The F-14 was the first of the American teen-series fighters which were designed incorporating the experience of air combat against MiGs during the Vietnam War. The F-14 first flew in December 1970. It first deployed in 1974 with the U.S. Navy aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65), replacing the F-4 Phantom II. The F-14 served as the U.S. Navy's primary maritime air superiority fighter, fleet defense interceptor and tactical reconnaissance platform. In the 1990s it added the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) pod system and began performing precision strike missions. The F-14 was retired from the active U.S. Navy fleet on 22 September 2006, having been replaced by the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. As of 2009, the F-14 was only in service with the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, having been exported to Iran in 1976 prior to overthrow of the Shah during a time when the US had amicable diplomatic relations with the nation.
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