The Grumman F14 Tomcat was a two-seat fighter developed by the U.S. Navy for missions as an embarked fighter and was later used, albeit on an occasional basis, as a fighter-bomber.
At the end of the 1960s, the US Navy began to think about replacing the F-4 Phantom II, which until then had been its on-board fighter. After several unsuccessful attempts, the F14 Tomcat was chosen for this purpose and had its first operational flight in December 1970.
Probably one of the most notable features of the F14 was its variable wing geometry, which allowed the pilot to modify the angle of the wings and thus reduce or increase the speed of the aircraft. The F14A was powered by a Pratt & Whitney TF30 turbofan engine (which in later versions was replaced by a General Electric engine) that allowed it to reach top speeds in excess of Mach 2. It was also equipped with the, very innovative for the time, AWG-9 weapon system which, coupled with the AIM-54 long-range smart missiles, made it possible to locate up to 24 enemy targets and attack 6 of them simultaneously.
The F14 fought in Vietnam in 1975, providing air cover for the withdrawal of US troops from the country, and later participated in the Lebanon War in 1981 and the first Gulf War in 1991. The F14 has been active in the US NAVY until 2016.
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