Grumman F-14 Tomcat in US Navy Service

For many years, the author of this book wished to publish a work on this mythical fighter plane, synonymous with the US Navy’s naval aviation for more than thirty years.

The F-14 Tomcat is more than just a naval plane. It goes beyond the merely formal, it has marked an era in the same way that previously did aircraft like the F-4 Phantom II, the different models of the mythical Mirage, the F-86 Sabre, the P-51 Mustang, the Spitfire, etc. The uniqueness of its mission and having a single user (in addition to Iran) were not an obstacle for this exceptional fighter to gain respect and a reputation that few fighter planes have had throughout the twentieth century.
Grumman F-14 Tomcat’s career has been long and always in the elite, on the frontline and with a success that very few fighter planes can boast. In service only in the US Navy, if we exclude units sold to Iran during Shah, the F-14 has always been part of the forces that have first reached the most important conflicts on the planet. To this is added the permanent surveillance mission in all the oceans carried out by the US Navy, always near the hottest points, in which the conflict is always about to explode, and there were the Tomcat, providing protection against air attacks on the fleet, with the invaluable help of the E-2 Hawkeye.
Thank you very much and enjoy this book. Anytime Baby!

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Genesis of a thoroughbred

One of the constant concerns of the US Navy has been the defense of its capital ships, such as aircraft carriers and battle groups, considered very vulnerable since the advent of long-range Russian anti-ship missiles, installed aboard bombers of Long range of action.
After the Second World War, the Russians were demonstrating amazing advances in propulsion and guidance systems and had also begun testing with thermonuclear weapons.
Already since 1950, the US Navy began searching for an interceptor defined as “Fleet Defender” to destroy those threats to its ships at a safe distance.

The US Navy decided that what it needed was a aircraft capable of facing several targets simultaneously and at distances that exceeded the range of the air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles of the moment. The concept that seemed to offer better prospects was to put a large part of the interception features on the missile, rather than on the carrier aircraft.

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The search eventually led to the creation of the F-14, but initially the US Navy was set at the beginning of 1960, in a proposal by Douglas, the XF6D-1, nicknamed Missileer, with full ownership.
In 1957, the US Navy issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a fighter dedicated to fleet defense (FADF) and its associated missile and fire control systems. In 1959 the Navy announced that Douglas Aircraft Company, not yet merged with McDonnell, was the winner, associated with Bendix / Grumman for the development of the air-to-air missile and with Hughes for the development of the advanced firing control system.
The XF6D-1 (with designation of the constructor D-766), was a subsonic aircraft similar to the previous model of the company F3D-1 Skyknight, but somewhat enlarged. It was designed optimized to protect ships using up to 8 bulky XAAM-M-10 Eagle two-stage air-to-air missiles (hence the name of the aircraft) and equipped with a radar with tracking capability while searching and facing several targets simultaneously.
This missile, designed by Bendix, measured 4.87 meters and weighed 581 kg. (1,284 pounds) each. Powered by a solid fuel engine, it had to fly to Mach 4 with a support engine to give it a range of 110 nautical miles.
The crew of the aircraft, with almost rectangular high wing, was composed of two men sitting side by side, and should be propelled by two Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-2 engines without post combustion, installed in the fuselage, which gave it a speed quite modest, limited to Mach 0.8.

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A very interesting aspect of the design was its weapon system, capable of guiding multiple missiles against independent targets simultaneously, of which a high-power radar of the Hughes pulse-doppler type was part, with extensive anti-return and sweeping down capabilities. The radar was based on the AN / ASG-1 originally designed for another model of the canceled air force, the North American Aviation XF-108 Rapier. A modified version was used the AN / ASG-1B, it was installed in the Lockheed YF-12A that never went into production, but provided an excellent background of radar information.