The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for the 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 MiG fighters during the Vietnam War.
The F-14 first flew in December 1970 and made its first deployment in 1974 with the U.S. Navy aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65), replacing the McDonnell Douglas 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 ground-attack missions. The Tomcat was retired from the active U.S. Navy fleet on 22 September 2006, having been supplanted by the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
Role Interceptor, air superiority and multirole combat aircraft
National origin United States
First flight 21 December 1970
Introduction September 1974
Status In service with Iranian Air Force
Primary usersUnited States Navy (retired)
Number built 712
Unit cost US$38 million (1998)