F-14 Tomcat "Fleet Defender"

Technical Review

Although overshadowed in the close-in manoeuvring arena by purpose-built air superiority fighters it is worth remembering that the F-14 was never intended to destroy its targets in the aeronautical equivalent of a hands-on, down-and-dirty knife-fight. The Tomcat is an assassin, armed with weapons which enable it to pick off its victims at such extreme range that they often do not even know they are in danger. In that long-range intercept role it remains unbeatable, and a steady progression of improvements has led to successive new variants, each further adding to the aircraft's formidable long-range kill capability and adding new ones, including ground attack and all-weather reconnaissance.

Into the Frame


Grumman F-14 Tomcat

Unless stated, these specifications are for the "A" variant.

F-14A2 Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-414A turbofans, 20,900 lb thrust with afterburner F-14B2 General Electric F110-GE-400 turbofans, 23,100 lb thrust with afterburner F-14D2 General Electric F110-PW-400 turbofans, 27,600 lb thrust with afterburner

>Height4.88 m (16 ft 1 in) Length19.10 m (62 ft 8 in) >Wing area52.49 m (565 sq ft)
Overswept10.15 m (33 ft 3 in) Airborne swept11.65 m (38 ft 2in) Wing span unswept19.54 m (64 ft 1 in)

Tailplane area13.01 m2 (140 sq ft) Tailplane span9.97 m (32 ft 8 in) Distance between fin tips3.25 m (10 ft 8 in)

Empty18191 kg (40,104 Ib) Maximum take-off33724 kg (74,349 lb) Take-off with six Phoenix32098 kg (70,764 Ib)
Landing weight23510 kg (51,830 lb) External weapons load6571kg (14,500 Ib) Internal fuel load7348 kg (16,200 lb)
External fuel load1724 kg (3,800 lb)

Maximum speed at altitudeMach 2.34 (2485 km/h, 1 544 mph) At low levelMach 1.2 (1468 km/h; 912 mph) Take-off distance427 m (1,400 ft)
Maximum rate of climb (sea level)9140m (30,000 ft) per minute Service ceilingabove 15240 m (50,000 ft) Carrier approach speed248 km/h (154 mph)
Landing run884 m (2,900 ft)

TypeLenghtDiameterFin SpanWeight
AIM-7E Sparrow143.71"7.87"39.37"/32.28"441 lbs
AIM-9H Sidewinder113"5"15"/25"190 lbs
AIM-9L Sidewinder113"5"22"/25"190 lbs
AIM-54A Phoenix155.9"15"36"985 lbs
One M-61A1 20-mm gun with 675 rounds and MK-82, MK-83, MK-84 Bombs

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