Just heard on the news that the F-14 Tomcat is being retired. It will be replaced by the F-22 Raptor.
The last F-14 squadron just completed its last sea deployment. That hasn’t been news for a while.
Its functional replacement is the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The F-22 is a USAF-only aircraft.
The Canberra also just went out of service. Lots of eras are ending.
First I’ve heard of it.
I was surprised when the news mentioned the F-22, expecting them to say the Navy would use the Super Hornet. But I did hear at one time that the F-22 would be made in a Naval variant. (I’ve heard nothing about the development of it though.)
The first F-22 squadron has just gone operational at Langley AFB. There is no current effort or proposal to make a version for anyone other than USAF, though.
The next Navy fighter will be the carrier version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which will replace the earlier-model F/A-18’s. The STOVL version will replace the Marines’ (both US and UK) and RAF/RN Harriers. The conventional-takeoff version will replace the F-16 and A-10 with USAF.
So Top Gun is now completely out of date?
Fortunately, not completely. The’ve got a new school they’re phasing in: Top Laser
The first class is all ready to begin lessons. Instead of “Goose” and “Maverick”, you have “d00d” and “hA|<eRbOi”
Iceman got pwned, d00d!!
But that’s nothing, apparently the B-52 is planned to be in service until 2050.
They stopped making them in 1962.
What happened to the Joint Strike Fighter? That’s different from the F-22, isn’t it? I thought that was going to be the new Naval fighter.
I believe that would be the F-35 JSF
I saw an old Wings episode (the Discovery series, not NBC) awhile back, where they mentioned a joke that had been going around the bomber bases…that when the last B-2 goes into mothballs, the crew’ll be picked up by a B-52.
Kinda like a club, I guess. How do you top the design? If you change or improve too much, it’s not a club anymore. And you still need a club.
The B52s-forever thing is crazy. When I graduated from USAF pilot training in 1982 one of the guys in my class got a B52 assignement. That’s hardly remarkable; 4 guys got B52s that week. But …
His father was then a Colonel in SAC and a B52 pilot.
The Colonel’s father, my classmate’s grandfather, had been a B52 pilot for the early acceptance tests of the B52 when it was first introduced.
So here’s a shiny new 2nd Lt with shiny new wings off to fly his granddad’s war machine.
Fast forward to today …
My classmate’s now old enough to have a son (or even daughter) who could be flying B52s.
Going into 21st century combat using a weapon your great grandaddy flew is nuts. And by 2050 the new kid today can have grandkids flying the thing.
I can imagine the scene at some USAF reunion in 2070 … “Yep, I used to fly B52s. My Mom flew 'em, my granny flew 'em, and even my great, great, great grandpappy flew 'em. Yep, my family’s just 52-kinda folks. Yeah, those were the days …”
Ah, the F-14 would have to be my favourite fighter of its era. The F/A-18 (admittedly a generation advanced from the F-14) just doesn’t have the same sex appeal to me. The Tomcat is big, and bulky, with wings and hard points sticking out at odd angles. With its wings swept fully back (for stowage on the carrier) it reminds me of an eagle
Despite its flaws, Top Gun did a great job at showcasing the F-14 Tomcat.
Yeah, that picture makes it look like something from Robotech. “This is a device designed to project force and crammed with helpful technology.” A little something has been lost as the planes have been sleeked down.
Well, go figure, we have the same father (who produced F-4s) and both Cardinal and I clicked on this thread…
Well, I think we all get a little teary-eyed at the thought of this fighter dying and being replaced by a weapons platform that flies.
Speaking of weapons platforms, I am surprised not to see previous mentions that the Tomcat is the only weapons platform that carries our best missile, the Phoenix. Anybody know if the missile has been changed to fit other planes, or the new planes designed to take the missile? Or is there some new sexy missile that can also be fired 8 at a time from the same plane and engage 8 targets at different altitudes, headings, and speeds? The Phoenix is cool.
According ti Wikipedia, the Phoenix was retired from US service in 2004. The only Phoenix missiles still being used are Iranian.
The US is moving towards stealthy fighters with internally stowed missiles. The Phoenix is pretty big for such an application.
Yeah, I told CF that after finding it also on Wikipedia. He said he’d heard that part of the deal with the Shah’s government was that the Tomcats would be serviced by American contractors. According to the story, when the contractors were leaving after the islamic revolution in Iran, they left little presents of hammered computer parts in the Tomcats.
I can’t imagine the U.S. is selling Iran spare parts for a strike fighter. Are they able to get them somewhere else, or are the planes effectively grounded? I do realize also that a great plane with bad pilots is far from ideal, so they may only be half a plane because of the lack of training for pilots.
Heh… you do of course know the design for the Macross Valkyrie was indeed based upon the Tomcat (and the VF designation literally lifted from that of USN fighter squadrons).
AFAIK, some of the Iranian F-14s were known to deploy on well into the 1990s and early 2000s-- the Iranian technical crew were able to do some reverse engineering, and adapt some market-available systems to the airframe (there are third-party equivalents to the Sidewinder and Sparrow, you don’t have to fly with the Phoenix), plus there was always black-market parts and under-the-table transfer of Russian intelligence on the Tomcat. They were said to be also used as AEW/Air Control aircraft, using their radars to guide other units.
My data might be a little out of date, but, the Navy used to say, back in Gulf war One and shortly after, “When the F-14 with an American pilot enters a combat theater, there have been two and only two outcomes. Enemy planes leave the combat theater, or, enemy planes are destroyed.”
Not a bad record.