F-14 retirement

Discussion in 'Modern' started by gjs238, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Was this aircraft retired prematurely?
    Have subsequent aircraft truly filled its shoes, or is there now a capability gap?
    Has the role performed by the F-14 subsided, or is there now an unmet threat?

    For example, I thought that with swing-wings and Phoenix missiles, the F-14 was intended to dash out to and reach out and touch threats.
    Have those threats disappeared or subsided?
    Is the F-14 replacement, or other assets, fulfilling that mission?


    Note: I searched for "F-14 retirement" and came up empty - sorry if this topic has already been covered.
     
  2. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    #2 michaelmaltby, Jan 15, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
  3. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Surprise surprise.

    Excerpts from that article:
    "Mozaffar Khazaee, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen...worked as an engineer for several defense contractors."
    "...Khazaee has traveled to Iran at least five times in the last seven years."

    Doesn't anyone vet these employees?!
     
  4. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    I believe the F-14 was a more capable aircraft than the F/A-18 Super Hornet is and IIRC even read that the US Navy believes that as well but that there are other factors in play here.
     
  5. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    It was my understanding that the F-14 was dealing with cost over-runs with it's maintenance and upkeep and to modernize it would be also cost-prohibitive. Another advantage of the F-18 over the F-14, was it's size, allowing for better hangar management aboard carriers.
     
  6. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    ".... the F-14 was a more capable aircraft than the F/A-18 Super Hornet "

    No doubt about the fact that it was hot .... and ... software upgrades or not, the Iranians used them to great effect against Saddam, IIRC.
     
  7. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    The F-14 was eventually replaced with F/A-18E, an aircraft about as big as the F-14. The Super Bug introduced low-observability (compromised with external weapon carriage, though) in what is basically a whole new aircraft vs. regular Hornet. The main feature of the F-14, long range interception capability was not supported by Super Bug. Carrier stowage of F/A-18E does not seem to give much advantage vs. F-14?

    F-14 seem to be a handful both to purchase and maintain, but, compared with F-35, Tomcat was a bargain. And it was there.
     
  8. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Does the criteria used to create the F-14 still exist today?
    If not, what has changed?
    If yes, how are those threats being met?
     
  9. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Good question. I would think you would want to eliminate the threat as far from the carrier as possible. The cold war many be over, but with Asian powers now flexing their muscle...one wonders.
     
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  10. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Pentagon planners are a;ways planning to fight the last war, meaning, they plan for wars that are like the one we last fought. There are so many variables with the next potential enemy, it is darn near impossible to gauge what they next new thing should be. That being said, the F-14 was a heck of a weapon, but the maintenance costs and headaches became a larger burden to bear than the Navy wanted to put up with. The F-35 is quite a wonder weapon, with it's share of teething pains. Mission creep and being under a microscope isn't helping the F-35 program.

    I will say this to the detractors of the F-35 because of issues; when I was in the USAF in the mid to late 80s, the Blackhawk was still going through it's development. It was killing a lot of Marines and soldiers at that time. Some of were wondering if the Blackhawk would surpass the Vietcong for dead American troops. Today, it is a great helicopter. Take any advanced aircraft and you will see development issues. The difference today is that there are people specifically looking for issues and the spread of information is much wider than it was 20 years ago.
     
  11. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    I will continue the debate about the F-14 from another thread:

    Id love to see a reference that any of the two radars used on the F-14 did have the range in look-down of only 30 miles when over land, and indeed that F-4's radar was better in look-down. How much of drones and enemy aircraft the F-4 actually killed with a radar-guided missile, while using look down? Further, if indeed the F-14's radar was that short-ranged overland in look-down, the Iranian's F-14s wouldve been swept from the sky by Iraqi MiG-25s and Mirage F1s, but that was not the case.
    We could also use the look-down ranges of other radars used in 1970s, along with 'normal' radar ranges. BVR combat capabilities of F-16A were not something to brag either, unfortunately the F-16 driver does not say a word about that. It took Soviets to develop the Zaslon radar and R-33 missiles to about equal the long range interception capabilities of F-14, and F-16 was equaling that maybe in 21st century, if then.
    As for the doctrine - F-14, as any other jet, depended on radar coverage in order to maximally use its capabilities, preferably by airborne radar. Expecting from a unit of the F-14 to fight without AWACS, when flying at 30-40 kft, with all radars in active mode assumes that unit's leader (or whoever gives orders to do so) is either crazy, or suicidal. We might note that use of AWACS was one of key ingredients for Israel's air victories over Bekaa valley in 1982 - contrary to that, Syrian AF was as good as non-supported by it's radar network.

    As for the dogfighting performance - I agree that there were decades of 1st hand experience, but how much of that is available to general audience is questionable.
     
  12. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #12 oldcrowcv63, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
    To me the most critical deficiency is the F-18's short legs (390 nm), especially compared to the F-14 (500 nm). Combined with the retirement of the KA-6D (~16 MT of fuel loadout) tanker, compared to the Super hornet (~13.7 MT) Of course not all the tanker A/C's total fuel capacity is transferable. Without a modernized F-14 (F-14D and after) There has been a general loss of CV Strike capability in the modern era. Consider this scenario. A neutralizing strike on targets such as nuclear power bomb plants deep in a potential adversary's territory. The reach of the CV task force has been reduced by a significant margin. In many cases, the USAF must assume the mission responsibility and fly from domestic or distant foreign bases, relying on longer range aircraft with its vastly more capable tanking capability. IN general the overall cost is much higher than striking from a CV. More USAF aircrew are probably involved and the work load on the USAF aircrews is probably higher on the longer flights.
     
  13. swampyankee

    swampyankee Active Member

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    Yes, they do: they're vetted by their employer (to check that they're US citizens or have a green card); if their employer requests that they be granted clearance, they're vetted by the DoD. Do note that a number of "true-blue" Americans-- the Walkers, Aldrich Ames, Hanson, etc, were granted clearances. It's not unlikely that Khazaee was looked at more carefully than those guys were. Most of the time, when I worked for defense contractors, I did not have any kind of clearance. Out of about 30 years working in aerospace and defense, I only had a clearance for about 4 years, and saw very little classified material (I actually tried to stay away from anything classified ;))
     
  14. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    I believe the structural integrity of the main box of the airframe was also becoming an issue.
     
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