Naval Air: June 27, 2004


The U.S. Navy plans to retire the last of its F-14 fighters by late 2006, about 18 months earlier than planned. This will save the navy about $155 million. The reason for the faster retirement of the F-14s, which entered service in 1970, was increased production of the F-18E/F and a desire to get the older F-14s out of service. The F-14, a 30 ton swing-wing fighter, was originally developed for fleet defense. For that purpose, special long range Phoenix missiles were developed. As impressive, and expensive (over a million dollars each) as the F-14's Phoenix missile was, it never saw action. When the Cold War ended, some F-14s were modified to drop bombs. The F-18E/F was originally designed as an upgrade to the original F-18A, which entered service in 1982. But by the time the project was finished, the 25 ton F-18A had turned into a 30 ton F-18E that was quite a different aircraft. The F-18E entered service in 1997, and is a much more capable and reliable aircraft than the older F-14s. This will leave Iran as the only nation operating the F-14, having received some in the 1970s, and keeping a few of them in flyable condition to the present. The Iranians improvise a lot, and get assistance from Russia. However, the Iranian F-14s are not in the best of shape, one having crashed, during a training flight, on June 21st.




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close