tomcat Warload

F-14 Tomcat "Fleet Defender"


The most expensive warload in the world. An F-14A of VF-32 carries the type's theoretical maximum of six AIM-54 Phoenix missiles. The drag of such a load is tremendous and the missiles put the aircraft above its maximum carrier landing weight, even with zero fuel. To land, multi-million dollar missiles would actually have to be jettisoned or fired, wheter or not 'trade' had been found.

Standard interception
With this typical load all F-14s have greater versatily than any other fighter. Many Tomcats also carry a TCS (Television Camera Set) to permit the crew to make positive identification of targets beyond normal visual range

1x20mm M61A1 six-barrel cannon
4xAIM-54C Phoenix
2xAIM-7M Sparrow
2xAIM-9M Sidewinder

Close-range interception
The primary role of the Tomcat is to kill at a distance, but there will always be intruders who pierce the outer screen and must therefore be engaged by Tomcat at close range. In such a dogfight mode the F-14 has an MSP (Mach Sweep Programmer) wich automatically varies the wing sweep angle troughout the combat to extract maximum performance from the aircraft.

1x20mm M61A1 six-barrel cannon
4xAIM-7M Sparrow
4xAIM-9M Sidewinder

After 1987
Instead of buying a new interceptor, the U.S. Navy is keeping the Tomcat in production in an updated F-14D version with new engines and completely new avionics. In this version the Sparrow AAM will be replaced by the new AAMRAM.

1x20mm M61A1 six-barrel cannon

Reconnaissance mission
In 1980/81 a total of 49 Tomcats was modified to carry the Tactical Air Reconnaissance Pod System (TARPS) package, wich carries reconnaissance cameras and a large infra-red linescan system. This is the only shipboard reconnaissance platform currently available to the U.S. Navy.

1x20mm M61A1 six-barrel cannon
2xAIM-7M Sparrow
2xAIM-9M Sidewinder
TARPS (in yellow)
2x1011 litres (267 U.S. gal) auxiliary fuel tanks

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