Hindsight: Which countries should've adopted the F-14?

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since there's a number of F-14 threads..

the Turkey was evaluated by a number of customers.
USN, USAF, IrIAF, Japan, Royal Navy, among some.. which one should've chosen the F-14 over their current choice?

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Profile picture for user Gerard

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you seems to have some sort of F-14 obsession :D

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since there's a number of F-14 threads..

the Turkey was evaluated by a number of customers.
USN, USAF, IrIAF, Japan, Royal Navy, among some.. which one should've chosen the F-14 over their current choice?

Iran, period.

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10 years

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While I know that replacing the F-14 with the -18 is a mistake on the USN's part, the swing wing design does come with added and unnecessary complexity for non-carrier operations.

Therefore, a fixed wing variant of the Tomcat would have been more useful for any non CATOBAR naval customers. The F-15 is to a degree this, but doesn't quite have the aerodynamic potential of the Tomcat's fuselage.

Does anyone want to know what a fixed wing evolved F-14 looks like?

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Both Canada and Turkey seriously considered buying outright the Iranian F-14 fleet after the Revolution; the aicraft, spares and weapons were all up for sale

It would have made a much more sensisble interceptor for Canada, Australia, and the UK RAF than the compromises they eventually received ( though without Phoenix of course, much too pricey ).

Profile picture for user Y-20 Bacon

Member for

6 years 10 months

Posts: 2,040

Both Canada and Turkey seriously considered buying outright the Iranian F-14 fleet after the Revolution; the aicraft, spares and weapons were all up for sale

It would have made a much more sensisble interceptor for Canada, Australia, and the UK RAF than the compromises they eventually received ( though without Phoenix of course, much too pricey ).

certainly Australia and Canada make sense given the need for a long range interceptor that could do other duties. not sure Turkey could've afforded it back in the 80s
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh173/SPINNERS1961/WHAT%20IF%202010/WHAT%20IF%202011/RANF-14ATOMCAT02.jpg

RN and RAF also made sense but too strong a Panavia lobby here
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh173/SPINNERS1961/WHAT%20IF%202010/WHAT%20IF%202011/RNF-14ATOMCATFRS102.jpg

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Y-20. The A to this Q is None, and to your USAF Q is No.

F-4 was the last Western type even faintly affordable in quantity and operable by conscripts. From F-111A/B they became a burden: most Users must seek multi-role misuse of the least-worst compromise: thus F-16s, so widely deployed, doing many things well-enough, nothing as dominator. MiG-21 you might say. Quality:quantity balance.

So, F-4-to-USAF, then to many others, as such a multi-role compromise. So, McNamara's intent to standardise many roles onto F-111 variants - he planned 3,000. That plan became F-14A+F-15A+F-16A+F-18A+EA-6B+ role-specific EF-111A, FB-111, F-111D/E/F: multiplicity which only US could afford/operate. The rest of us tried firstly to define what role(s) we were prepared to fund; then to define a near-off-the-shelf good-enough; then to extract some offset work/money to ease the procurement pain.

When W.Germany was assigned lead on scheming centre-fuselage of (to be) Tornado, they went to Grumman and licenced F-14A titanium wing centre-box, itself derived from F-111B's. It worked, so that was the sensible course; in 1971 Germany imposed on UK the selection for Tornado of an F-111 radar: it worked, so that was...Throughout 1969-76 US tried so very hard to kill Tornado and pitched all manner of F-things to Bonn. They did not fail because Tornado was "better" in metric A than F-X and in metric B than F-Y, but because the overall package - why are we buying this kit? - was acceptable against military+political Requirements. Canada, Belgium and Neths. left Tornado, 1969, because each judged ANOther kit would do the job(s) they chose to afford.

If your job is to patrol far ahead of a Fleet and disperse anything coming at you: lo! F-14A: just work out how to train folk to sustain the beast. Or is to lay a tactical nuke far forward on an armour formation at night in Winter: lo! Tornado (and work out...) If something resembling a defensible-Stuka is to be generated by conscripts: lo! F-16A. Courses, horses.

RN could not match F-14A to any extant or feasible carrier; RAF showed more interest in F-15A than in F-14A. Can't say why Turkey and Japan evaluated but did not take F-14A...except they had no Fleet. Can say why Iran did take F-14A: US preferred the overhead-spread/logistics deepening on that lower-quantity USN-run than on the higher-quantity USAF F-15 run, so encouraged IIAF in that direction. The logistics Task was entirely by hordes of ex-USN expats. Can say why Saudi took Tornado/Strike over F-15A-as-then-unproven-strike-type: all eggs in one US-basket was not politically attractive, vs. links to UK+Italy+W.Germany. The logistics Task was entirely by hordes of ex-RAF expats.

Very seldom is a combat aircraft procurement done as a simple which-is-best exercise. Nor, nowadays, is the choice Airbus v. Boeing done as simply as that. What, Mr.Buyer, are you trying to do? That is why carriers appear to duplicate (Qatar has 787+A350; DLH has 747-8+A380). Courses, horses.