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Tomcat Versus Eagle

This story is no shit because I was there.

You civilians try to stay up and if you have to, Google it .

The Air Force was thinking about acquiring the F-14 Tomcat.  The ones that were sold to Iran were built to Air Force specifications, mainly not carrier capable because the Iranians didn’t have a carrier.

In 1977 or 1978, I don’t remember which exact trip, I was a nosey little Airman that loved the F-14.  The Navy had set up in a trailer to act like a carrier or E-2C Hawkeye.  Whatever.  Needless to say I hung out there and rooted for the Navy. 

This How I Remember it Going Down

First Sortie

The USAF was based at Nellis and the Navy was coming out of NAS Fallon.

F-15 flew out to the range.  No F-14.  He hung around for 20 minutes, called the Navy a no show and returned to base.  The pilot then found out the the Navy had splashed him just as he retracted the gear on take off.  Hurray for the AIM-54!

Air Force called “Bullshit” ours won’t have the AN/AWG-9/AIM-54 suite and the Navy was told that the AIM-54 was out.

Second Sortie

AIM-7 parameters.  Both jets had Sparrow radar guided missiles.  However, the F-14 had a RIO.  Splash one Eagle. 

Air Force is now getting a little pissed and the Navy is buying drinks at the Club.

Third Sortie 

AIM-9 parameters.  Both jets had Sidewinder infra-red  guided missiles.  However, the F-14 had two sets of eyes instead of one.  Splash one Eagle. 

Final Sortie

Gun parameters.  The F-15 was at his fighting speed and taking the fight to the Merge.  The Navy used Anti-MiG tactics used by the F-4 Phantom II in Vietnam.  They took it to the verticle and……splash on Eagle again.

You have to remember something about those engagements.  The F-15 was still new to the inventory and  TAC was still trying to figure out how to fight with the Eagle. Our F-4C’s from George AFB were there to conduct this very training. We were waxing the F-15 guys on a daily basis. 

540 “shot down” 3 F-15’s and a F-106.

When the “Fucking First” from Langley left they tagged our jets with their very little used “ducks”.

In fact it got intense at the Crazy Horse Gentlemen’s Club one night.

The “Fucking First” were bragging about crewing the “World’s Greatest Fighter”.  We retorted that the Israelis were the only ones that had F-15’s and your bunch fly T-15’s.  “You training motherfuckers…etc, etc.”

We said, “We work on the F-4 Phantom II.  A proven weapons system responsible for the deaths of thousands of women and children in South East Asia and we’re proud to work on it.”

 

I’m not sure who threw the first chair.  But things quickly escalated to a 20 v. 20 bar fight.  One of the reasons the Crazy Horse relocated to Industrial Road and “The World’s Biggest Gift Shop is now in its place on the Strip.

 

 

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Ray October 18, 2017, 09:08

    Uh, no. The Air Force never had intentions to buy F-14s…why would they with the F-15 they used were better? Grumman tried to sell an interceptor 14 version to the Air Force for NORAD, but the Air Force passed.

    Can you sate where that was the case?

  • walt313 October 26, 2017, 19:53

    Ray,
    Didn’t I just do that? The sad fact is that the Tomcat was a better BVR interceptor than the Eagle could ever dream of being. Until the AIM-120 came along, the eagle was limited by the AIM-7. Otherwise known as “The Great White Hope”. That’s why they’re called “Missles” instead of “Hittles”.

    In the end, the decision came down to cost of maintenance. The USAF had already been given the maintenance nightmare that was the Grumman F-111. They saw another Grumman swing wing aircraft and said no thanks. It was the 70’s and the Eagle was easy to work on and cheaper.

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