F-14’s of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force could be sporting more than a new paint job. Back in 2007, The Lucky Puppy reported on the possibility that France might help Iran resurrect their Tomcat fleet. Follow this link:
Since the 1979 embargo of F-14 parts, Iran has kept three of the 79 aircraft in the air. The most infamous one was involved in the Iranian Airbus Iran Air Flight 655 shoot down by the U.S.S. Vincennes in 1988. In 2002 Iran announced that it had 25 out of 79 operational. In 1985, 25 Iranian F-14s flew over Tehran as part of a celebration. In the last year of the war, 1988, an F-14 shot down an Iraqi jet, one of over 80 knocked down by their F-14s since 1980. That much is known, because there were witnesses and other evidence. Using Russian sources and smuggling parts into Iran were some ways it has been speculated that the Iranian Air Force accomplished this feat, To prevent parts getting into the black market, the U.S. literally cut up the U.S. Tomcat fleet when the aircraft was taken out of service. Most, if not all U.S. military aircraft wind up at the storage facility in Holloman, New Mexico. Not the Tomcat. In our 2007 post, we postulated that Iran was getting their Tomcats pimped by France as did Iraq with their MiG-25’s. Consider this video produced by Iran. It has been cobbled together from scenes of Iranian TV series ‘Shoghe Parvaz’ (The Delight of The Flight) and flight scenes from “Topgun” of all things.
Some Things I Spotted
- You see six aircraft lined up on the apron.
- Anyone can give AIM-54 shapes a new paint job and drag them around the flight line.
- I count four moving under their own power. Any crew chief will tell you that with enough effort, any hangar queen or cann bird can taxi to the runway.
- One scene shows that one Tomcat is filmed in flight from another Tomcat. That’s two in the air at the same time.
In summer of 2010, Iran requested that the United States deliver the 80th F-14 it had purchased in 1974, but delivery was denied after the Islamic Revolution. In October 2010, an Iranian Air Force commander claimed that the country overhauls and optimizes different types of military aircraft, mentioning that Air Force has even installed Iran-made radar systems on the F-14. Best estimates is that the Iranians have three operational aircraft. No….wait. On 26 January 2012, an Iranian F-14 crashed three minutes after takeoff. Both crew members were killed. That makes the Iranian Tomcat fleet……two.
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