The Joy of Museums

Finding Meaning in a Museum

Grumman F-14 Tomcat

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The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The F-14 was the first of the American fighters, which were designed incorporating air combat experience against MiG fighters during the Vietnam War.

The F-14 served as the U.S. Navy’s primary maritime air superiority fighter, fleet defense interceptor, and tactical aerial reconnaissance platform into the 1990s. The “Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night” pod system were added in the 1990s and the Tomcat began performing precision ground-attack missions.

Intrepid, Sea, Air & Space Museum - Joy of Museums 6

In the 1980s F-14s were used as land-based interceptors by the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force during the Iran–Iraq War, where they saw combat against Iraqi warplanes. Iranian F-14s shot down approximately 160 Iraqi aircraft during the war. The F-14 remains in service with the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force.

Essential Facts:

  • Name:                     Grumman F-14 Tomcat
  • Role:                        Interceptor, air superiority and multirole combat aircraft
  • National origin:    United States
  • Manufacturer:      Grumman Aerospace Corporation
  • First flight:            1970
  • Introduction:        1974
  • Retired by US:       2006
  • Produced:              1969–1991
  • Number built:       712
  • Unit cost:                US$38 million (1998)
  • Museum:                Intrepid, Sea, Air & Space Museum

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“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
― Benjamin Franklin

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Photo Credit: By GordonMakryllos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons