F-14 Tomcat operational history

F-14 Tomcat Operational History

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F-14 Tomcat operational history

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Since its inception, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat has been widely used in action by both the United States Navy and the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, although knowledge about the combat service with Iran is disputed. The F-14 did not see the amount of aerial combat envisioned by the Navy and Grumman when the plane was conceived; this was due to lack of combat opportunities.

The F-14 evolved into a long-range strike fighter in the 1990s, and was used successfully as a strike platform in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq until its final deployment in 2006. In air-to-air combat, US Navy F-14s have shot down five enemy aircraft with no losses, although one was lost to a surface-to-air missile.

U.S. Navy service

1970s

Operation Frequent Wind

The F-14 made its first combat sortie flying cover during Operation Frequent Wind in April 1975. The fighter squadrons VF-1 and VF-2 were deployed on board with Carrier Air Wing 14. The cruise began on 17 September 1974 and ended 20 May 1975. The two squadrons flew combat air patrols over Saigon and the evacuation route during the operation, but did not encounter any Vietnam People's Air Force aircraft, although they were fired upon by enemy anti-aircraft guns.

Soviet intercepts and American hostages in Iran



During the rest of the 1970s, the F-14 did not see any combat; F-14s primarily intercepted Soviet aircraft approaching too closely to carrier groups. On 23 April 1976, VF-142 was the first Atlantic Fleet F-14 squadron to...
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