The U.S. Navy's F-14 Tomcat was the last of a long line of Grumman 'Cats' that provided the carrier task force with its first-line defence and offensive strike capabilities against any enemy air threat. The Tomcat was without equal among the Free World fighters of its time. Six long-range AIM-54A Phoenix missiles could be guided against six separate threat aircraft at long range. For medium-range combat, Sparrow missiles were carried with Sidewinders and a 20mm cannon available for dogfighting. The Tomcat's variable-sweep wings gave it a combat manoeuvring capability far exceeding that of a 'standard' fixed-wing aircraft.
The Tomcat was designed in 1968 to take the place of the flawed F-111B. The F-14A used Pratt & Whitney TF30 engines and the AWG-9 radar system, and carried the six Phoenix missiles originally intended for the scrapped F-111B. The F-14 boasted a completely new fighter system with an emphasis on close-in 'claws' and stand-off missile fighting. From its first flight on 21 December 1970, the F-14A went through five years of development, evaluation, squadron training and initial carrier deployment to become the carrier air wings' most potent fighter.
The Tomcat performed admirably during the conclusion of the Cold War - in the Middle East, the Yugoslavian and First Gulf War conflicts. It flew its last combat missions supporting the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 with a final deployment at the start of the Iraq War in 2003. The F-14 was retired in 2006 but its legacy is celebrated in this definitive overview of its service career: F-14 Tomcat - Last Of The 'Cats'.
Bonus Features (34 mins)
Enduring Freedom outlines the initial assault on Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11, and the great demands that conflict made on those who fought.
Iraqi Freedom outlines the initial thrust made by the Navy and American Marines in Iraq, and the great challenges they faced.
Catalogue Number: SN6595
Picture: 1.33:1 / Colour
Time: 95 mins approx
Number of Discs: 1
Sound: Mono / English
Region: 0 / PAL
Our Price: £11.99