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F-14 Tomcat Projects

overscan

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Thanks - I rotated the images for you.
 

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Does anyone know what kind of range and payload capacity the more advanced Tomcats would have had? Also, would MTOW have increased, or only bringback capacity?
 

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Ok, in the May 22, 1989 issue of Aviation Week the Tomcat 21 takeoff gross weight would increase from 72,900 in the D to 76,000 in the 21. The aircraft empty weight would increase by 1,000 pounds. 21 would carry 2,500 pounds additional fuel internally. In the April 29, 1991 issue however it says the aircraft zero weight is 2,000 pounds more than the D and internal fuel is 2,200 pounds more.

Payload and range for the 21 are 8 of the Hughes/Raytheon version of AAAM, and 15 of the GD version according to Defense Daily May 18, 1989.
In the April 29 issue cited above 21 would increase chaff/packets from 60 in the D to 135 without further increases from using AIM-9 launchers. The Attack 21 could perform a strike mission carrying eight Mk83 bombs and two AIM-9s and flying a cruise profile followed by a 100nm approach at 420knots for half the 100 and then 480kts for the other half and then drop payload and perform five 360deg max G turns and then reverse the profile for home while landing with enough fuel for a 20min sea level loiter and 5% initial fuel leftover. The mission radius would be 500nm. It does not state takeoff fuel amount.
The ALQ-165 would have two transmitters in the 21 as opposed to one in the D.

Hope this helps. If I can I will post the originals.
 

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What was SECDEF Cheney's seemingly intense dislike against the F-14? Did he have a grudge against Grumman for some reason? Or did he just view it as "Cold War relic" like just about everything else he cancelled.

Despite the fact that there were rivals and only one could survive, it seems to me like the Super Hornet and Super Tomcat could have complemented each other quite well in theory.
 

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Colonial-Marine said:
What was SECDEF Cheney's seemingly intense dislike against the F-14? Did he have a grudge against Grumman for some reason? Or did he just view it as "Cold War relic" like just about everything else he cancelled.

Despite the fact that there were rivals and only one could survive, it seems to me like the Super Hornet and Super Tomcat could have complemented each other quite well in theory.
This is just my personal opinion, but I think there were a number of factors in play here. BTW, I'm not trying to reopen the Tomcat vs Hornet War...that would go on forever and it's moot anyway.

First, the rivalry between USAF and USN was very intense then. AF repeatedly lobbied for reductions in the carrier fleet and increases for themselves arguing that land airpower could do it all. They thought that medium- long range missions came under their "roles and missions". A major paper signed out by two high ranking Generals argued that more B-2s should be funded by retiring carriers as necessary to free up the funds needed to buy more B-2s. Of course "officially" that was not USAF's position, but that doesn't change the fact that the neither was the paper disavowed. AF was very influential.

Second, Dick Cheney just didn't seem to like Naval Aviation that much. I don't know this for a fact, but I have seen a few articles that indicated that if Bush the Elder had been reelected, 1/3 of all the upcoming planned cuts for DoD ("peace dividend") were going to come out of Naval Aviation. Again, I have no primary sources on this.

Third, Congress like the Hornet partly because they believed they had invented it. Also, the Hornet lobby in Navair was the most effective group promoting their baby in naval aviation history. Plus, MDDD new how to sell to the military and was superb at schmoozing. Grumman, unfortunately at the higher levels wasn't and was arrogant, which tended to put customers off and kept them form effectively marketing their message until it was too late (I have personal experience with this).

Third is the specter of industrial policy, and I personally belong to the faction that says this was the major factor. Bush Senior was a strong proponent of this. It was known that there were not going to be enough programs in the '90s and beyond to support all the existing manufacturers. MDD produced a number of products valuable to DoD and the civilian world. Airliners, F-15s, the Hornet and especially the C-17. Grumman, OTOH was a company with good engineering but basically a specialty manufacturer of naval aircraft. So it was felt that it was more valuable to keep the former operational than the latter. The AV-8B was not going to be q big enough program to keep them going. AF opposed too much improvement to the F-15 lest it threaten ATF funding, so the only potential yet "safe" program that could keep them going was a massive expansion of the F/A-18. Plus, the latter did not threaten AF. So take an advanced version of the Hornet that Navy had rejected (in favor of the A-6F) in the '80s and mix it with the work done or Hornet 2000, and you have the Super Hornet.

Regarding the Super Hornet and advanced Tomcats complementing each other, that wasn't too likely. Grumman's proposal for the Block IV upgrade to the Tomcat D would have produced effectively a naval F-15E++ , a more effective strike and fighter aircraft than the Super Hornet (remember, you've got to compare the Tomcat of the early '90s with the contemporary Super Hornet, not the SH as it is today). It would have cost far less to develop, wouldn't have necessitated buying extra of the current version to keep the production line running until the new model was ready because all the Ds you build or converted from As could be upgraded to Block IV, whereas with SH you had to build new. It would have to more to buy (~$2 million /ea) and operate, but not as much more as many comparisons claimed because most of those rolled in F-14A operational costs. It shouldn't be forgotten, though, that both the Super Hornet and the Block IV F-14D were supposed to just a "bridge" to the aircraft the USN really needed, the A/FX. I blathered extensively about the Block IV and even more advanced versions earlier in this forum, here: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,589.msg21613.html#msg21613

Basically, with an advanced Tomcat, there wouldn't be the money (or the need) for a Super Hornet to carry you to A/FX.
 

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Colonial-Marine said:
What was SECDEF Cheney's seemingly intense dislike against the F-14? Did he have a grudge against Grumman for some reason? Or did he just view it as "Cold War relic" like just about everything else he cancelled.

Despite the fact that there were rivals and only one could survive, it seems to me like the Super Hornet and Super Tomcat could have complemented each other quite well in theory.
Some stories I've heard claim that the intense dislike of the F-14 stems from an animus against Grumman in NAVAIR after Grumman sued and won over their deficiencies in delivering GFE (improved flight control computers) that forced a redesign of the F110 installation to achieve a stable configuration that the existing computers could handle (they went from a collar between the F110 and the existing inlet to a more forward engine with an extended afterburner section and Grumman and GE properly billed NAVAIR for the work and took it to court when they balked).

With regard to the demise of the F401, that's still a sore point with me 40 years later. A Representative trying to make a name for himself, much like his compatriot, Sen. Proxmire, had in the Senate, led the charge to kill the F401 under the banner of "The TF30 is good enough!" (it didn't help that within one week that summer P&W Florida brought two F401's back from the test stands in "bushel baskets"). Of course, five years later, this same person claimed "The Navy bought a Turkey, not a Tomcat!" because the TF30's were causing quite the problems. This same person later became Bill Clinton's first Secretary of Defense, Les Aspin. Why is this a sore point with me? Well, that cancellation got me laid off from P&W and I was out of work for eight months trying to find something; then to hear him pontificate like that....
 

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http://www.ebay.com/itm/Grumman-F-14-Tomcat-Desktop-Model-/201451514677?&_trksid=p2056016.m2518.l4276
 

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F14 Mockup book

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ORIGINAL-RARE-1969-NUMBERED-F-14A-TOMCAT-GRUMMAN-MOCKUP-WORKBOOK/122803682386?_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D41376%26meid%3D03925deec1504b4999a1abaf6310ac13%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D172965908230&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851
 

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overscan

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Re: F14 Mockup book

Interesting document. At least 10 times the price anyone would want to pay for it.
 

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Re: F14 Mockup book

Orionblamblam said:
And it's a steal at only $1500.

::)
From what I can make out, it's dropped to $1,249.99


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Ok, unfortunately this subject has gone quiet for quite a few years :(

The other day, I was listening to a an audio take of a great YouTube program on Kurt Schroeder on flight testing and developing the Grumman F-14, when the interviewer asked Schroeder about variants of the Tomcat...

So it was with this curiosity, that I picked up and began reading The Pentagon Paradox: The Development of the F-18 Hornet by James P. Stevenson, for about the sixth time, and in it I found the following interesting information pertaining to this forum topic:

”Deputy Secretary of Defense Clements, who was sworn in approximately one month before this contract [the contract agreement between the US Navy and Grumman on March 8, 1973, requiring Grumman to produce 48 lot V F-14A’s under the original terms of the 1969 contract...] settlement, suggested a prototype flyoff three months later. On June 19, 1973, Clements proposed a flyoff between a navalized version of the F-15, which he designated the F-15N, and a lighter-weight version of the F-14 (one without 1,000-1,300 pounds of Phoenix missile avionics), which he called the F-14D.....”
“....the Senate Armed Services Committee on September 6, 1973, instructed the [U.S.] Navy to “obtain proposals from industry and evaluate these proposals to determine if a smaller and presumably cheaper aircraft can be designed to serve as an air superiority fighter to complement the F-14.”
The Navy Fighter Study Group IV anticipated this direction. On November 15, 1973, the group issued an interim report. The report summarized the activity then in progress. The Fighter Study Group was looking at nine designs to supplement the F-14A. The PMA 265 group looked at the F-15N; PMA 241 looked at four versions of the F-14, called variously the AF-14X with four Phoenix missiles; AF-14X with four Phoenix missiles and A-6 [Intruder] type air-to-ground radar; F-14X with an F-15 [Eagle] APG-64 radar with [Aim-7] Sparrow missiles; and F-14X with [Aim-7] Sparrow missiles and a Westinghouse WX-250G radar.... “
P.S. the YouTube program is Interview with Kurt Schroeder on Testing and Developing the F-14 (Part 1) https://youtu.be/XzHpomXBt8k and (Part 2) https://youtu.be/EAKH8IxAHVY, which I highly recommend!!

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Might seem like a silly question, which might have been answered some where else on this fine forum, but is there any technical reason as to why the F-14 couldn’t be fitted with the more powerful (and do I dare say it, more reliable) TF30-P-100 turbofan with 25,100 lbf (112 kN) afterburning thrust, as was done with the F-111F?
For as in the case of the F-111F, the incorporation of the TF30-P-100 equated to a 35% more thrust than the F-111A and E variants, which one would have thought would have gone some way in improving the F-14’s performance. Or was the TF30-P-100 still inherently susceptible to compressor stall and temperamental to abrupt changes in throttle, AOA in air-to-air combat manoeuvring?


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Michel Van

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There three additional question:

-fit the TF30-P-100 turbofan into fuselage of F-14 ?

-is it fuel consumption similar or even higher as the Engine of F-14 ?, this let to reduction of range.

-with more powerful engine, let that to shorter lifetime of F-14 fuselage ?
 

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Michel Van said:
There three additional question:

-fit the TF30-P-100 turbofan into fuselage of F-14 ?

-is it fuel consumption similar or even higher as the Engine of F-14 ?, this let to reduction of range.

-with more powerful engine, let that to shorter lifetime of F-14 fuselage ?
Thank you for your reply to my question Michel Van, but I'm not sure about your question about
fit the TF30-P-100 turbofan into fuselage of F-14 ?
, as I'm asking this question myself.

As for the fuel consumption / range issue, I'm thinking (hoping) that a substantial improvement in thrust-to-weight ratio - equating to better air-to-air manouveabilty and general engine reliability will somehow offset this somewhat for the USN. Also, I'm thinking, with something like a 35% increase in thrust, wouldn't it be more likely that the Tomcat could be launched with an initial heavier fuel load?

As far as lifetime of the F-14's fuselage, are you insinuating fatigue? In truth, I don't know, am not sure, as it's above my paygrade :p But it's something I never really thought about.

I would think having a fighter which the USN was more able and willing to commit to combat would overshadow concerns of fuselage lifetimes - I mean if you've got it use it! If it's used to effect in a U.S. agender, wouldn't it be more likely that Congress would pay for fatigue repairs/restoration or even new-built airframes? Or am I just being idelic?


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Avnut

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I cannot recall the sources and please correct me if am wrong anywhere. A couple of other reasons why the TF30-P-100 was not installed in the F-14 was that the engine was not marinized. Also, the TF30 was never designed to be a fighter engine from the start with sudden throttle movements and air flow changes. It was designed to lazily cruise around the sky in the F6D Missileer. The F-111 had fewer engine issues than the F-14, because the F-111's mission profile involved less throttle movements and air flow changes.

The cost of marinizing the engine and the fundamental issue of the TF30 not being a fighter engine from the start, the gain of 5,000 lb. of thrust per engine did not justify the cost of adapting the engine to the F-14.

All of the money spent, and aircraft and lives lost on trying to make the TF30 acceptable, would have easily covered the costs to finish developing the F401.
 

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Avnut
I cannot recall the sources and please correct me if am wrong anywhere. A couple of other reasons why the TF30-P-100 was not installed in the F-14 was that the engine was not marinized. Also, the TF30 was never designed to be a fighter engine from the start with sudden throttle movements and air flow changes. It was designed to lazily cruise around the sky in the F6D Missileer.
Thanks Avnut,I never thought of the marinisation of the TF30-P-100, valid, where as I appreciate the issue of the TF30 in general not being an optimised fighter engine!

The cost of marinizing the engine and the fundamental issue of the TF30 not being a fighter engine from the start, the gain of 5,000 lb. of thrust per engine did not justify the cost of adapting the engine to the F-14.
Ok, so regardless of the perceived maturity of the TF30-P-100, it still had/retained it's inherent throttle issues!

All of the money spent, and aircraft and lives lost on trying to make the TF30 acceptable, would have easily covered the costs to finish developing the F401.
I hear you Avnut, it's near criminal. It is a travesty that the F401 wasn't fully developed and fielded! I guess one of the fundamental issues of iter-service rivalry :-[ :mad:

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elmayerle

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Avnut said:
All of the money spent, and aircraft and lives lost on trying to make the TF30 acceptable, would have easily covered the costs to finish developing the F401.
And for that, you can blame the now-deceased Les Aspin. At the time he was a representative from Wisconsin and was trying to make himself as prominent a name as his senatorial counterpart, William Proxmire. He led the crusade to cancel the F401 with the battle cry that the "TF30 is good enough". Of course, five years later, when TF30 problems were causing F-14 crashes, he came out with "The Navy bought a Turkey, not a Tomcat!", never taking his responsibility for the situation.

IMHO, if he was going to cancel the F401, he should have at least funded an alternative (it was as technologically advanced, but the afterburning TF41 that Allison/RR had demonstrated in the late 1960's would have worked well) given the problems the TF30 was still demonstrating at the time.

How do I remember this after all this time? The cancellation of the F401 resulted in my being laid off from P&W's Florida R&D Center. I am not going to comment on the F401's viability, but I will point out that it had considerable commonality with the F100 and would have needed the same level of fixes that engine required.
 

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Not to argue against the woefully shortsighted decision to cancel the F401 but I recall reading that P&W couldn't produce F100s fast enough and that a lot of new F-15 airframes were sitting around awaiting engines. Adding the demand for the F401 on top of that would be problematic to say the least.
 

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Yes, the TF-41, Allison's Spey, was pretty good. In fact we have a startling example of a Navy aircraft that traded the sh**ty TF-30 for a TF-41 and found the difference: the A-7 Corsair II !!!!
I recently checked flight Global archive and Google Books for details about the Spey and F-401. It is amazing what can be found doing that kind of seearches.
 

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Archibald said:
Yes, the TF-41, Allison's Spey, was pretty good. In fact we have a startling example of a Navy aircraft that traded the sh**ty TF-30 for a TF-41 and found the difference: the A-7 Corsair II !!!!
I recently checked flight Global archive and Google Books for details about the Spey and F-401. It is amazing what can be found doing that kind of seearches.
Any chance you can PM me some of those links please Archibald?


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starviking

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Archibald said:
Yes, the TF-41, Allison's Spey, was pretty good. In fact we have a startling example of a Navy aircraft that traded the sh**ty TF-30 for a TF-41 and found the difference: the A-7 Corsair II !!!!
I recently checked flight Global archive and Google Books for details about the Spey and F-401. It is amazing what can be found doing that kind of seearches.
If I recall correctly, the Spey was at least at the same level, if not somewhat better than the TF-30. I guess NIH and perhaps a desire not to be seen as dependent on foreign designs might have been a factor.

The Spey really is a kind of wonder-engine: only made because BEA rejected the original Trident as ‘too big’, but went on to be a roaring success in the air and at sea for decades.
 

Archibald

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I once tried to get a list of of all the British, French and American and Swedish aircraft projects that, at some point or another, nearly got a Spey (or a Medway)

Had SAAB got the Medway for the Viggen in '61, and had SNECMA picked the Spey either in 1959 or 1968 (in place of the TF-306E and in place of the M53) then with the Allison TF-41, you got The Universal Military Turbofan Of The Western World.
 

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Archibald said:
I once tried to get a list of of all the British, French and American and Swedish aircraft projects that, at some point or another, nearly got a Spey (or a Medway)

Had SAAB got the Medway for the Viggen in '61, and had SNECMA picked the Spey either in 1959 or 1968 (in place of the TF-306E and in place of the M53) then with the Allison TF-41, you got The Universal Military Turbofan Of The Western World.
Another aircraft that could have had a Medway was the 727. According to the AIAA case study on it, the original proposed engine was a RR engine (I'm presuming the Medway, right time and size) and then Boeing ran into a problem. Edward Richenbacker of Eastern had some support problems with RR on the airlines Viscount engines and would only sign for a RR-powered 727 if RR committed to a US support center and RR was declining to do so. Boeing had to scurry around and work something out with P&W to save Eastern's commitment to the 727. One could argue that was an extremely short-sighted move on RR's part.
 

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For some reasons I can't explain, the afterburning TF41 for the tomcat was NOT called... an afterburning TF41, but rather Detroit Diesel Allison 912-B32 .

And the results here...

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b&biw=1680&bih=936&tbm=bks&ei=biXvWt__MMqyUcborMAI&q=%22912-B32%22%22F-14%22&oq=%22912-B32%22%22F-14%22&gs_l=psy-ab.3...58976.59904.0.60300.4.4.0.0.0.0.56.210.4.4.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.0.0....0.JvDuji2R16o

Looks like after the demise of the F401, the TF-30, TF-41, and F-101 were considered, although the F-110 was the final winner...

Some info at Flight International (unvaluable !) archive

https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/search.aspx?ArchiveSearchForm%24search=912-B32&ArchiveSearchForm%24fromYear=&ArchiveSearchForm%24toYear=&x=0&y=0
 

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Allison internal designators were three-digit (e.g., 912). TFXX (later FXXX) were/are US government designators (e.g., F401). GM merged the Detroit Diesel and Allison divisions before selling them off to Penske and Rolls-Royce, respectively.
 

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does anyone have an idea about the combat radius of advanced tomcat derivatives?
 

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Avnut said:
I cannot recall the sources and please correct me if am wrong anywhere. A couple of other reasons why the TF30-P-100 was not installed in the F-14 was that the engine was not marinized. Also, the TF30 was never designed to be a fighter engine from the start with sudden throttle movements and air flow changes. It was designed to lazily cruise around the sky in the F6D Missileer. The F-111 had fewer engine issues than the F-14, because the F-111's mission profile involved less throttle movements and air flow changes.

The cost of marinizing the engine and the fundamental issue of the TF30 not being a fighter engine from the start, the gain of 5,000 lb. of thrust per engine did not justify the cost of adapting the engine to the F-14.

All of the money spent, and aircraft and lives lost on trying to make the TF30 acceptable, would have easily covered the costs to finish developing the F401.
Plus going to a higher thrust TF30 (yes it would fit, F-14 was designed to be able to change engines throughout its expected life) just wasn't worth it. Not likely they'd get 5,000 lbs of thrust out of it anyway.

Regarding the cost of all the TF30 fixes funding F401, maybeso but at the time the decision was made they didn't know just how bad the TF30 experience would be.

The Navy also how USAF knd of cooked the books (especially the 150 hour endurance test) to insure the F100 went into production (remember that without the F100, there would be no F-15), they coudn't afford the expense to fix it on their own. They reasoned why spend all that money on a new unreliable engine when they already had an unreliable engine already to hand. They also feared that adding the cost of fixing the F401 to the F14's R&D costs might persuade Congress to kill the F-14.

Frankly, the F100 wasn't in all that great shape, with reliability, endurance and airflow problems. They ended up derating the engine to increase reliability. Since USAF had no alternatives, Pratt wasn't that motivated to put a lot of their own money in bringing it fully up to spec. This really didn't get resolved until the F110 appeared. Suddenly facing real competition, Pratt "got religion" and did the work necessary to bring the F100 up to snuff and make it into the good engine we have today.
 

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Grumman actually built a "stealthified" modified A-6 mockup, in an attempt to show stealth knowhow for the AX (A-12) program.
Sadly, I'm guessing there's no photos of this "stealthified" modified A-6 mockup

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RF-14 from 1969/70, this seems to be separate from the latter (1977+) RF-14 with the TARPS pod:

The Airborne Integrated Reconnaissance System (AIRS) will provide fleet commanders with necessary real-time reconnaissance information. It is planned to engineer this system into the F-14 aircraft to provide an RF–14 as the Navy's next generation reconnaissance aircraft
 

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RF-14 from 1969/70, this seems to be separate from the latter (1977+) RF-14 with the TARPS pod:

The Airborne Integrated Reconnaissance System (AIRS) will provide fleet commanders with necessary real-time reconnaissance information. It is planned to engineer this system into the F-14 aircraft to provide an RF–14 as the Navy's next generation reconnaissance aircraft
Yeah, a lot of early articles refer to Grumman studying a dedicated RF-14 as an RA-5/RF-8 replacement, c 1970. By 1974, TARPS was the preferred solution.

I came across one interesting paper about AIRS, or specifically about the AIRS Performance Model. This was developed for AIRS Concept Formulation, so before an actual system was designed. It is from 1969 and doesn't mention a specific aircraft at all, but talks at length about how you would model various sensors on an aircraft -- TV/photos cameras, IR sensors, FLIR (different from IR, which in this era probably meant downward looking IR line-scan), Radar (various types, including side-looking moving-target indication), "ECM" (which in context clearly means ELINT/ESM, not jamming), etc. and determine the optimum mix of sensors for inclusion in an actual system. So it's pretty likely that in 1969, they didn't really know what sensors AIRS would use, much less what it would look like incorporated into a specific airframe.

 
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In the late 1970s TARPs was being described as an interim solution, it seems the preference was for a dedicated new recce platform but it wasn't possible for some reason (cost or technical difficulty). AIRS seems to have had a very short life, I can't find any reference to it prior to 1970 but it is listed as terminated in FY71, during that same year $360,000 was spent on it.
 

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1971 seems to be about the same time the dedicated RF-14 died. I suspect TARPS was considered an interim solution because they were hoping that VFAX (F/A-18) would get a dedicated recce version, which could also serve the USMC. They got as far as a demonstrator in 1984 -- one F/A-18(R) was converted with panoramic cameras and IR line scanner in lieu of the gun and ammo drum.
 

Tyrant29

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Anyone still have the pictures of the Super Tomcat 21 Cockpit?? Thanks
 

Grey Havoc

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1971 seems to be about the same time the dedicated RF-14 died. I suspect TARPS was considered an interim solution because they were hoping that VFAX (F/A-18) would get a dedicated recce version, which could also serve the USMC. They got as far as a demonstrator in 1984 -- one F/A-18(R) was converted with panoramic cameras and IR line scanner in lieu of the gun and ammo drum.
The F/A-18(R) was intended to enter service in the early 1990s but was yet another victim of the 'Peace Dividend'. As a partial replacement a number of F/A-18Ds got a quick (as in practically non-existent) refurbishment and were re-designated F/A-18D(RC). They were to be equipped with a scaled down ATARS system stuffed into a centreline pod, which displaced the datalink pod (when it was available) to a less optimal position on one of the wings. I don't believe the F/A-18D(RC) has been too successful, primarily due to the fact that only a few ATARS pods were procured at the time (even fewer datalink pods were bought) and the pods (and at times the aircraft themselves) had poor enough serviceability, particularly in the 1990s when defence spending was tight and often unwise economies were being made. (Arguably the mania for podded rather than integrated systems which had begun in the late 1980s had become such an ill-advised economy in itself!) During the 2000s when one would have reasonably expected things would be different, money was being funnelled instead into the JSF program and other 'Transformational' priorities. The ongoing and worsening Hornet fleet problems in general haven't helped matters either, to put it delicately.

On a side note, the F/A-18(R)'s sensor nose, the primary ATARS package in other words, was designed to be able to be quickly swapped out with a radar nose so that the F/A-18(R) could serve as a normal fighter (albeit without the cannon) in an emergency. The F/A-18(R) would have had a more extensive ECM/ESM suite than normal Hornets. Incidentally, ATARS stands for Advanced Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance System.
 
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TomS

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On a side note, the F/A-18(R)'s sensor nose, the primary ATAR package in other words, was designed to be able to be quickly swapped out with a radar nose so that the F/A-18(R) could serve as a normal fighter (albeit without the cannon) in an emergency. The F/A-18(R) would have had a more extensive ECM/ESM suite than normal Hornets. Incidentally, ATARS stands for Advanced Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance System.
Thanks, I had not realized that the (R) configuration lost the primary radar as well as the gun.
 
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