Amazing facts about Grumman F-14 Tomcat

Amazing facts about Grumman F-14 Tomcat


Grumman F-14 Tomcat is the first American jet fighter that was built with twin tails. It is a supersonic, twin engine, twin tail and a variable sweep wing fighter aircraft which was developed for the US Navy’s Naval Fighter Experiment Program titled as VFX.

Grumman F-14

The Grumman F-14 Tomcat was one of the Teen Series of fighter jets which were developed after comparing the air combat data against the MiG fighter jets during the Vietnam War.

The very first Grumman F-14 Tomcat took its first flight back on December 21st, 1970 and entered in the US Navy back in 1974. The aircraft was boarded over the USS Enterprise CVN-65. The aircraft was entered in the service on the carrier to replace the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. The purposes that Grumman F-14 Tomcat served in the US Navy into the 2000s are as follows.

  • Maritime Air Superiority Fighter
  • Fleet defense interceptor
  • Tactical Aerial Reconnaissance


To be able to perform the precision tactical ground attack missions, Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) pod system were added to the aircraft’s design back in the 1990s.

During the 1980s Iran-Iraq War, the F-14s were used as the land-based interceptors by the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force. Acceding to the official report, F-14 nearly shot down 160 of the Iraqi aircraft during the war. During this war, only 14 to 16 of the Tomcats were lost and even the half of those lost aircraft were a result of accidents.


The Tomcat was actively retired from the US Navy’s active fleet back on 22nd September 2006. However, despite being retired from the US Navy’s service, the F-14 still remains to serve in the IRIAF since when it was exported to Iran back in 1976. These Tomcats are currently being used by the Islamic Republic of Iranian Air Force (IRIAF) in the missions against the ISIL in the Middle East. According to reports, IRIAF has also used these Tomcats as an escort and accompanying fighter jets for the Russian Air Force Tu-95 and Tu-160 strategic bombers on their missions over Syria.

For our readers today we have gathered a bunch of amazing facts about the Grumman F-14 Tomcat which are as follows.

First Flight:-

First Flight

The Grumman F-14 Tomcat made its first flight nearly 45 years ago and it was back on December 21st, 1970.

Entered in Service:-


As for the date of officially entering in the US Navy’s aerial fleet, the aircraft boarded the US Navy’s carrier; USS Enterprise CVN-65 back in 1975 and served in the US Navy until September 22nd, 2006.

Heaviest aircraft to fly from an aircraft carrier:-

Heaviest aircraft

The Grumman F-14 Tomcat weighs entirely about 43000 pounds. At that time it was not only the largest but also the heaviest US fighter jet to have flown from an aircraft carrier.



The Grumman F-14 Tomcat was only designed to have a launch platform for the AIMG-54 Phoenix missiles. The F-14 was able to carry 6 of these 1000 pounds each heavy missiles, at a time.



The Grumman F-14 Tomcat at that time had a very powerful radar system installed that was able to detect simultaneously 24 targets.

Systems for ground attack:-

ground attack

The US Navy engineers added in the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) pod system in the Grumman F-14 Tomcat back in the 1990s making it able to perform precision ground attack missions.

Served different purposes:-


The Grumman F-14 Tomcat was one of the most flexible fighter jets of its era that served in the US Navy. The three different roles that Grumman F-14 Tomcat served for Navy are as follows.

  • Navy’s maritime air superiority
  • Fleet defense interceptor
  • Aerial reconnaissance platform

Another country that still has F-14:-


Although the Grumman F-14 Tomcat was retired from the US Navy’s service back in 2006, there is still one country that uses this aircraft in their aerial service. The F-14 is currently being used by Islamic Republic of Iranian Air Force till this day. The first fleet of the Tomcats was exported to Iran back in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq War.


Very first accident:-

first accident

The very first accident that an F-14 suffered was back in December 21st, 1970 during its first flight right after the takeoff. The aircraft after takeoff suddenly suffered from hydraulic failure, resulting in both crew members to eject as the emergency landing was not possible. Although both of the pilots survived in this crash, the main pilot died one and a half year later in another F-14 crash.



The engine of the F-014 is able to produce a thrust of over 55000 pounds with afterburners which is actually more than its own weight which is 43000 pounds.



The engineers of the F-14 designed one Tomcat model which allowed the F-14 to reach the speed of Mach 1.8 from Mach 0.9 in only 90 seconds. This basically is an increase from 600 to 1400 kmph. Although this powerful engine was a viable one, the Navy still stored this model away.

The Iranian Pilot with most F-14 kills:-

Iranian Pilot

During the Ian Iraq war, F-14s were the main aerial force for the Iranian Air Force and reportedly shot down 160 Iraqi aircraft. Out of all the pilots who shot down Iraqi aircraft, the one pilot who had the most kills was “Jalil Zandi” who shot down 11 Iraqi planes.

The F-14’s missile range:-

missile range

The F-14 was only able to have onboard 6 of the AIMG-54 Phoenix missiles at a time. Hover these missiles were compatible with the radar of the F-14 and had a range of about 100 nautical miles or 115 miles.

A pilot fired all six missiles at the same time:-


To test out the combination of F-14 and the Phoenix missiles a test was prepared with targets. All of the six Phoenix missiles were set off within 38 seconds. Four of them struck the target with perfect precision.



The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is one of the most revered fighter jets of the US Air Force and especially for their roles in the US Navy.  The aircraft, although has been retired from the service, it still soars in the skies over Iran as part of their main aerial force. This alone proves that this aircraft is still capable of doing the same level of harm it could back when it was in active war duty.

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