F-14 Tomcat Projects

apparition13

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Does anyone have further insight into the F-14C's proposed radar (phased array?), and what the term"dual confirm detection logic" refers to?

View attachment 679684
View attachment 679685
That finally answers my question about whether the C was an enhanced B with attack capability or an attack aircraft lacking Phoenix. It's still a fleet air defense aircraft with Phoenix, it just has a radar that can handle attack modes as well so it can do both attack and fighter roles. Which also explains why the Navy wanted it to replace the A-7 since a carrier could then carry more F-14s for FAD while still retaining attack capability. The A-6s would still be around for their mission.
 

Wyvern

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And for those who thought the Tomcat was an hydraulic nightmare with its variable swept wings, what about... three sets of those?
Further reinforcing the point that an idea doesn't have to be good to get a patent. It just has to be novel and not obviously impossible.

So true.

This one isn't bad either, but not from Grumman and the Tomcat front fuselage most probably for illustration purpose only.

:eek::oops:o_O
 

Archibald

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Does anyone have further insight into the F-14C's proposed radar (phased array?), and what the term"dual confirm detection logic" refers to?

View attachment 679684
View attachment 679685
That finally answers my question about whether the C was an enhanced B with attack capability or an attack aircraft lacking Phoenix. It's still a fleet air defense aircraft with Phoenix, it just has a radar that can handle attack modes as well so it can do both attack and fighter roles. Which also explains why the Navy wanted it to replace the A-7 since a carrier could then carry more F-14s for FAD while still retaining attack capability. The A-6s would still be around for their mission.

Makes some sense. And then the Hornet came out of nowhere. Even without it however, the Tomcat would have been too expensive to fill the attack squadrons using A-7s.
 

RLBH

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Does anyone have further insight into the F-14C's proposed radar (phased array?), and what the term"dual confirm detection logic" refers to?

View attachment 679684
View attachment 679685
That finally answers my question about whether the C was an enhanced B with attack capability or an attack aircraft lacking Phoenix. It's still a fleet air defense aircraft with Phoenix, it just has a radar that can handle attack modes as well so it can do both attack and fighter roles. Which also explains why the Navy wanted it to replace the A-7 since a carrier could then carry more F-14s for FAD while still retaining attack capability. The A-6s would still be around for their mission.

Makes some sense. And then the Hornet came out of nowhere. Even without it however, the Tomcat would have been too expensive to fill the attack squadrons using A-7s.
Not quite nowhere.

The Navy knew perfectly well by the early 1970s that replacing A-7s with F-14s wouldn't fly. They started the VFAX programme for a cheaper fighter to supplement the F-14 and replace the A-7, and received plenty of submissions. Then Congress directed that they navalise one of the ACF contenders, and that led to the F-18.

As far as I can make out, light attack and fighter squadrons were intertwined for a long time. Looking at planned air wings, it seems to have evolved something along these lines:
  1. Circa 1960, the air wing had two F-4 and two A-4 squadrons.
  2. One F-4 squadron would be replaced by the F6D, or eventually by the F-111B, while the other remained with F-4s. The A-7 would replace the A-4. Outcome: one F6D/F-111B, one F-4, two A-7.
  3. The first iteration of VFAX would create a multirole aircraft to replace the F-4 and A-7. Outcome: one F-111B, three VFAX.
  4. F-111B was cancelled and VFAX turned into VFX. The A-7 would soldier on in the light attack role. Outcome: two VFX, two A-7.
  5. VFX became the F-14. After examining its options, the Navy still wanted to replace the A-7 with a multirole fighter, which in a fit of imagination they called VFAX again. Outcome: two F-14, two VFAX.
  6. Congress intervened and directed the Navy to buy a derivative of the ACF instead of the VFAX. After competition, this became the F-18. They also prevented the Navy from buying enough F-14s to put two squadrons on each carrier. Outcome: one F-14, three F-18.
The Tomcat was originally aimed at that multirole VFAX requirement in Step 3, before difficulties with the F-111B saw the AWG-9/Phoenix weapons system added to the type. A version without this system would likely have been less expensive and probably lighter, making it better suited to the multirole fighter task. That's where the F-14T and F-14X come in, as options considered before the second VFAX competition.

VFAX also looks to have swallowed up the VAX programme for a successor to the A-6 and A-7, meaning that those two types lasted much longer in service than they otherwise might have done. The A-7 (VAL) was initially intended to be a stopgap until VAX came along.
 

Cjc

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Does anyone have further insight into the F-14C's proposed radar (phased array?), and what the term"dual confirm detection logic" refers to?

View attachment 679684
View attachment 679685
That finally answers my question about whether the C was an enhanced B with attack capability or an attack aircraft lacking Phoenix. It's still a fleet air defense aircraft with Phoenix, it just has a radar that can handle attack modes as well so it can do both attack and fighter roles. Which also explains why the Navy wanted it to replace the A-7 since a carrier could then carry more F-14s for FAD while still retaining attack capability. The A-6s would still be around for their mission.

Makes some sense. And then the Hornet came out of nowhere. Even without it however, the Tomcat would have been too expensive to fill the attack squadrons using A-7s.
Still would have been cheaper to upgrade to the a-7x were you get 90% of the self defense plus better strike, and whight until the 80's when you can then ithere buy more f-14s without breaking the bank (and keep the line open) or move the f-14s back to strike in exchange for a new plane.

Also dose anyone have any good pictures or data on the conformal fule tank grumman showed of for the usaf interepter program.
 

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It wasn't A-7X but A-7F and it did not happened before 1985, as an USAF project.

Now, nothing prevented the USN indeed, putting the very Phantom F-4K engine (a reheated Spey) into an A-7E and create their own, NAVAL A-7F in 1965, 1970, 1975 or 1980.
Consider the fact that plain old A-7E still had 10% more range than freakkin' Hornet... plus the A-7F performance was truly awesome.

But the A-7 was always an ugly duck for both USAF and USN.

Clearly the low-end to the F-14 was not supposed to be the Hornet.
Could have been instead
- upgraded supersonic A-7
- Convair 201 / 218 VFAX (instead of NACF)
- Tomcat without AWG-9 and Phoenix, for ground attack
 

SSgtC

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Tomcat without AWG-9 and Phoenix, for ground attack
Tomcat without AWG-9 and Phoenix defeats the whole point of replacing the A-7 with the F-14. The Navy wanted more Tomcats to boost fleet defense without losing attack capability either.
 

Archibald

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I see your point, but what I had in mind was @RLBH point above thread
The Tomcat was originally aimed at that multirole VFAX requirement in Step 3, before difficulties with the F-111B saw the AWG-9/Phoenix weapons system added to the type. A version without this system would likely have been less expensive and probably lighter, making it better suited to the multirole fighter task. That's where the F-14T and F-14X come in, as options considered before the second VFAX competition.
 

RLBH

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I see your point, but what I had in mind was @RLBH point above thread
The Tomcat was originally aimed at that multirole VFAX requirement in Step 3, before difficulties with the F-111B saw the AWG-9/Phoenix weapons system added to the type. A version without this system would likely have been less expensive and probably lighter, making it better suited to the multirole fighter task. That's where the F-14T and F-14X come in, as options considered before the second VFAX competition.
What's quite telling is that the USN didn't pursue that option, presumably because of cost, and started the VFAX competition instead. And even then, the F-14T/F-14X were considered against a fighter requirement, in recognition that affording even two squadrons of F-14s on the carriers might be a stretch, so one of them might need to be a cheaper/less capable aircraft. That line of reasoning led to VFAX and ultimately the F-18.

Incidentally, I don't think there's any reason to suppose the Convair bid was any more likely to win the VFAX competition than McDonnell Douglas or LTV bids at the very least.
 

Cjc

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It wasn't A-7X but A-7F and it did not happened before 1985, as an USAF project.

Now, nothing prevented the USN indeed, putting the very Phantom F-4K engine (a reheated Spey) into an A-7E and create their own, NAVAL A-7F in 1965, 1970, 1975 or 1980.
Consider the fact that plain old A-7E still had 10% more range than freakkin' Hornet... plus the A-7F performance was truly awesome.

But the A-7 was always an ugly duck for both USAF and USN.

Clearly the low-end to the F-14 was not supposed to be the Hornet.
Could have been instead
- upgraded supersonic A-7
- Convair 201 / 218 VFAX (instead of NACF)
- Tomcat without AWG-9 and Phoenix, for ground attack
I would recommend reading the corsair 2 thread, the a-7x was a 70's program the add the f-100, f-110, reheat the tf-41 or add two f-404 when the f-18 program ran into trouble, mainly by being about as expensive as the f-14.
 

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