Was the F-14 the best fighter in the world until the F-22?

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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armedupdate

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Unread post08 Nov 2017, 10:22

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The F-14 with it's Phoenix missiles can trump any fighter of the time that didn't have stealth.
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hythelday

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Unread post08 Nov 2017, 11:45

armedupdate wrote:The F-14 with it's Phoenix missiles can trump any fighter of the time that didn't have stealth.


Didn't know Saddam had F-22s.

:shock:

Define "best".

F-15 has a much better combat record, both in US service and with international clients. "But what if Israel had Tomcats instead?" Nobody knows.

F-16 is a much better fighter, because it gave dozens of allied countries hella lot more multirole bang for significantly less buck. Same goes for Dassault Mirages.

I, for one, can't even say that it was best interceptor of Iran-Iraq war, since F-14 and MiG-25 win/loss ratios differ literally tenfold depending on the source.

The only thing we can say for certain is that AWG-9/AIM-54 combo gave you longer technical (as opposed to operationally demonstrated) range amongst Western aircraft until "C" version of AMRAAM and Meteror came about.
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wrightwing

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Unread post08 Nov 2017, 17:12

It was the best fleet air defense aircraft in the world. That's as far as I'm prepared to go.
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wrightwing

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Unread post08 Nov 2017, 17:14

It did become a pretty good striker, towards the end of its career, though.
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mas

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Unread post08 Nov 2017, 22:52

Yes but it was the most expensive too both to own and maintain. It could destroy you at 100nm or equally as well in a dogfight. Its radar/ECM/missiles were decades ahead of their time and its advanced swing-wing airframe with its high combined body/wing lift/drag ratio more than made up for its weight and underpowered TF30 20klb engines. It could pull 7.5g at Mach 2 and still be pulling it all the way down to Mach 0.5 before it run out of energy. It also had great AoA ability outside of an F-18.

It then became the best fighter/bomber in the US military at least until the AESA F15E. Only now with the AIM-120D has the US got a similar performance long range missile to the 1970s Phoenix which is 40 years ago. Only now with 21st century AESA radars has the performance of the F14s radars been exceeded 30 years on.

As for its combat record it was exemplary for the US as it fulfilled all air combat/bombing missions without loss. In Iranian service the original 80 odd Tomcats the Shah bought held off the best the Iraqis could get from the Russians and French for 9 years and the majority are still around today still providing their interceptor backbone. If you are a Tomcat fan and can get over the fact that it's the unfriendly Iranians I recommend reading the history of its service for them as it goes into interesting technical details of modern 4th generation real air combat both electronically and ACM.

https://issuu.com/rafa51164/docs/49_ira ... its_in_com
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basher54321

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Unread post09 Nov 2017, 00:55

wrightwing wrote:It was the best fleet air defense aircraft in the world. That's as far as I'm prepared to go.


Agree there - the A model certainly didn't tick all the boxes, which is exactly what Israel thought.


mas wrote:Only now with the AIM-120D has the US got a similar performance long range missile to the 1970s Phoenix which is 40 years ago. Only now with 21st century AESA radars has the performance of the F14s radars been exceeded 30 years on.


I would hope you are only talking about range because the ancient analogue AIM-54A is not comparable to the AIM-120A from a technology standpoint - and you might find the AIM-120A was just as good in terms of range when you consider its somewhat superior aerodynamics.
Who exactly claims the AWG-9 was better than the APG-63 in terms of such things as reliability and actual usable range including clutter filtering and CCM?
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eloise

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Unread post09 Nov 2017, 12:23

mas wrote: its advanced swing-wing airframe with its high combined body/wing lift/drag ratio more than made up for its weight and underpowered TF30 20klb engines. It also had great AoA ability outside of an F-18.

According to manual, F-14 turn better at low speed but at high speed F-15, F-16 is better. F-15, F-16 also have much higher T/W so they excel the F-14 in vertical fight.
While F-14 reach high AoA in test ( just like F-15 did). It doesn't have the same level of control authority at high AoA like F-18 does.
mas wrote:It then became the best fighter/bomber in the US military at least until the AESA F15E. Only now with the AIM-120D has the US got a similar performance long range missile to the 1970s Phoenix which is 40 years ago. Only now with 21st century AESA radars has the performance of the F14s radars been exceeded 30 years on.

F-14 has very big radar compared to F-18, F-16 so no doubt that it has longer detection range. However, F-14 RCS is massive. So it kinda balance out.
AIM-54 has very good range though
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charlielima223

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Unread post10 Nov 2017, 05:18

Engineering, technical, and historical merit aside.

F-14 definitely has that movie star status to this day...



The F-14 was one of the inspiration for the VF-1 Valkryie of the Macross/Robotech series. The F-14's has influenced pop culture in a way that no other aircraft has before.
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f-16adf

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Unread post10 Nov 2017, 16:30

Anyone remember the movie Final Countdown? Those Jolly Roger Tomcats were beautiful!!!!!
Last edited by f-16adf on 10 Nov 2017, 20:30, edited 1 time in total.
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mixelflick

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Unread post10 Nov 2017, 16:55

If it were the F-14B/D Tomcat, then I might agree with you. Even then (late 80's by the time the B was in service) the Flanker was starting to reach maturity and a comparable airframe (if not in avionics, weapons etc). This is to say nothing of more advanced F-15's and 16's. Even the Mig 29 WVR would have put up a quite respectable fight. Especially given it carried the Archer, and the 9x didn't come along until 2003 I think? And never was the AMRAAM or 9x operational on an F-14..

But imagine an F-110 powered F-14B/D like airframe operational in 1980, complete with AMRAAM and the 9x. THEN you'd lay claim to it being the best fighter in the world...
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charlielima223

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Unread post10 Nov 2017, 20:47

f-16adf wrote:Anyone remember the movie Final Countdown? Those Jolly Roger Tomcats were beautiful!!!!!


such an under rated movie...



Also before the Flankers made it famous, F-14s were doing the Cobra maneuver or something very very close/similar to it...
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botsing

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Unread post10 Nov 2017, 20:57

f-16adf wrote:Anyone remember the movie Final Countdown? Those Jolly Roger Tomcats were beautiful!!!!!

:D Yes sir!

"Why the hell are we playing with these guys?"

Loved that movie when I was a kid. Afterwards I built a scale model of the Nimitz and replayed that movie over and over again.
"Those who know don’t talk. Those who talk don’t know"
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mas

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Unread post11 Nov 2017, 13:32

and of course the F-14 had a starring role in the TV series JAG. I think all the teen fighters look and are great but IMO the Tomcat simultaneously looked the most fastest and lethal of them all which probably wasn't far from the truth and it made for a good film star and advert for US air power.

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count_to_10

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Unread post11 Nov 2017, 17:31

botsing wrote:
f-16adf wrote:Anyone remember the movie Final Countdown? Those Jolly Roger Tomcats were beautiful!!!!!

:D Yes sir!

"Why the hell are we playing with these guys?"

Loved that movie when I was a kid. Afterwards I built a scale model of the Nimitz and replayed that movie over and over again.

Even the Japanese love the Jolly Rodger markings on the F-14 — thus the shape and markings of the hero’s fighter in Macross. Actually, I wonder if Macross was directly influenced by Final Countdown; the first series came out two years after FC was released.
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mixelflick

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Unread post11 Nov 2017, 19:09

Nothing has looked so menacing, before or since!
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