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F14 for the UK scenario

zen

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Not as mad as it sounds, since this was seriously looked at several times.

Perhaps the strongest case is after the fall of the Shah, when negotiations nearly returned the 79 aircraft delivered to Iran and some 70 slots on the production line were still notionally available.

Had those negotiations come through, and assuming that the US does offer them to the UK at some reduced rate....

Then beyond the obvious issue of getting BARCAP ahead of delayed ADV Tornado. There is the twin issues of the UK getting the AWG.9 and AIM-54 Phoenix system.

This could pull the plug on ADV and Foxhunter/ Skyflash at the time.

But a curious consequence is Sea Phoenix. The use of the system to provide Area SAM system for warships far less demanding than AEGIS/Standard.
And right bang at a time when MSAM ideas are not just floating about, but Sea Dart mkII has officially died and the lure of NF-90 is seducing UK into not doing anything beyond Sea Wolf and Type 23.....
 

uk 75

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If CVA01 had entered service as planned, perhaps with CVA02 laid down in 1974 to replace Eagle, then F14 might have been an option.
This is pretty much fantasy rather than alternate history as it would have needed a very different British economy to be possible.
The RN would have been keen to upgrade its air defence to cope with Backfires. Buccaneer was still viable as Sea Eagle and WE177 until a US A6 replacement arrived.
An F18 Skyflash later Amraam alternative might have been put forward as F14 had cost and reliability issues in 1979 and the F4s on Coral Sea and Midway were not replaced by F14s.
RAF F14s are much less likely even in fantasy.
Tornado/AFVG or UKVG would have been already about to enter service with Skyflash.
 

zen

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If CVA01 had entered service as planned, perhaps with CVA02 laid down in 1974 to replace Eagle, then F14 might have been an option.
This is pretty much fantasy rather than alternate history as it would have needed a very different British economy to be possible.
The RN would have been keen to upgrade its air defence to cope with Backfires. Buccaneer was still viable as Sea Eagle and WE177 until a US A6 replacement arrived.
An F18 Skyflash later Amraam alternative might have been put forward as F14 had cost and reliability issues in 1979 and the F4s on Coral Sea and Midway were not replaced by F14s.
RAF F14s are much less likely even in fantasy.
Tornado/AFVG or UKVG would have been already about to enter service with Skyflash.
So there is no 'thumb down' option, otherwise for sheer negativity and miserablism I'd be using it on your post.
 

Grey Havoc

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"fantasy rather than alternate history"

There was me thinking that they are one and the same!!
It depends. Some alternate history scenarios very nearly became reality, while some real life events were so unlikely that they were considered wild flights of fantasy at best before they actually happened.
 

uk 75

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Negativity and miserablness you want. Okay There is not a snowballs's chance in hell of any plausible variant of 1979 Britain taking F14s for the RAF.
 

uk 75

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"fantasy rather than alternate history"

There was me thinking that they are one and the same!!
I can see I am going to have to borrow Father Ted's list for Father Dougal of impossible things:
Fantasy: limited only by the author's imagination or fantasy..Star Wars, Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland etc.
Altwrnate History: taking history as it was and changing key people or events to introduce new possibilities. Germany without Konrad Adenauer Britain where the NHS was introduced in 1964.
 

uk 75

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The RAF dont take F14s,F15, or F16s because they operate F4s with Sparrow, later Skyflash. An extra F4 squadron is found after the Falklands using the standard US version as mentioned.
If the UK had not bought its own (UKVG) or a European (AFVG/Tornado ADV) solution to the F4/Lightning then F14/F15 come into the picture. But we are rather entering the world of Father Dougal. BAe or BAC/HS will have dropped out of designing aircraft and become like Westland, a licence builder of US types
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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F-14 was considered, but ruled out as too expensive. Tornado ADV was considered the most F-14-like solution we could afford (and it employed lots of British people too).

 

CJGibson

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Much as the Air Staff (and the Admiralty) admired the F-14, it was Thirsty (required extra tanker support). Needy (more AEW support). Expensive (Phoenix being quoted at [pinkie to lips] ONE MILLION DOLLARS a pop.)

See Battle Flight for that story (and the F-15).

Chris
 

uk 75

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One requirement not met by either Tornado ADV or F14 was replacing the F4s in the two RAF battleflight squadrons in West Germany.
Had the requirement not lapsed in 1990 they would have received Typhoons. However, if the Typhoon had met delays or been cancelled, we might have joined Italy in leasing F16s.
 

Hood

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Reminding us over in the other thread that CVA-01 was designed to handle the F-111B (or at least aircraft of that general class) just coincidently came the day after I had been reading about F-111B. The author of the F-111 Warpaint book points out how the F-111B had sucessfully been tested aboard USS Coral Sea and how its take-off and loiter performance actually surpassed that of the F-14, which was also not much lighter and carried fewer Pheonix. He also points out that the USN failed to appreciate the F-111s strike origins and ignored its potential to be a superior A-5 Vigilante replacement.

So getting into fantasy land, if CVA-01 & CVA-02 get built, the option would have been there for Healey to go all out and buy an F-111KB, maybe even co-operate with the USN on a strike version. Probably would take a UK order to around 100 aircraft, very pricey option but its a what-if and shows that F-14s were not the only game in town, the RN had two potential throws at the dice.
 

uk 75

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Fluff

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Reminding us over in the other thread that CVA-01 was designed to handle the F-111B (or at least aircraft of that general class) just coincidently came the day after I had been reading about F-111B. The author of the F-111 Warpaint book points out how the F-111B had sucessfully been tested aboard USS Coral Sea and how its take-off and loiter performance actually surpassed that of the F-14, which was also not much lighter and carried fewer Pheonix. He also points out that the USN failed to appreciate the F-111s strike origins and ignored its potential to be a superior A-5 Vigilante replacement.

So getting into fantasy land, if CVA-01 & CVA-02 get built, the option would have been there for Healey to go all out and buy an F-111KB, maybe even co-operate with the USN on a strike version. Probably would take a UK order to around 100 aircraft, very pricey option but its a what-if and shows that F-14s were not the only game in town, the RN had two potential throws at the dice.
We are well into magic money tree mode now, USN buys F111, and then the UK has enough money to buy 2 huge CV? and then develop with USA an F111 naval fighter and attack aircraft. to wrap up all the problems of the 70's, maybe we could make the CV's coal powered.....
 

uk 75

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The CVA01 and CVA02 (rather like today's CVF) are possible if the RN sacrifices other assets to get them. The result would look more like the French Navy in the 80s. Only 4 Countys and 4 T42 air defence ships. Only 4 T22 and remaining ffs still T12 and 4T21. Amphibs confined to Fearless rotating with Intrepid. The SSN programme much more drawn out. No S class in service and only 4 S boats on order.
A successful.TFX programme (Boeing' version possibly more than GD) leads to RAF and RN aircraft.. RAF only has 4 TFX sqns as opposed to 9 Tornado in the late 80s. Jaguar mainstay of strike force (no Buccaneers as TFX replaces RN ones).
Another loser in a CVA01/TFX world is the RAF fighter force which gains the RN F4s displaced by the RN fighter/attacker TFX but no TFX ADV version.
Money isnt the problem so much as balance. The real world RN and RAF are more suited to NATO requirements but an alt UK may be less NATO focussed..
RAF F14s are a bit harder as you cant find a point where they replace the real world F4s and Tornados (hence myTFX scenario with no Tornado)
 
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Archibald

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Reminding us over in the other thread that CVA-01 was designed to handle the F-111B (or at least aircraft of that general class) just coincidently came the day after I had been reading about F-111B. The author of the F-111 Warpaint book points out how the F-111B had sucessfully been tested aboard USS Coral Sea and how its take-off and loiter performance actually surpassed that of the F-14, which was also not much lighter and carried fewer Pheonix. He also points out that the USN failed to appreciate the F-111s strike origins and ignored its potential to be a superior A-5 Vigilante replacement.

So getting into fantasy land, if CVA-01 & CVA-02 get built, the option would have been there for Healey to go all out and buy an F-111KB, maybe even co-operate with the USN on a strike version. Probably would take a UK order to around 100 aircraft, very pricey option but its a what-if and shows that F-14s were not the only game in town, the RN had two potential throws at the dice.
Put Speys / TF41 instead of shitty TF30, and things should improve... substantially.

Boom, commonality with A-7 and British Phantoms. then put an afterburning TF41 on the A-7 and get a world beater of strike aircraft with secondary Crusader interceptor mode. This essentially kills the F-18.

Then TF41 worlwide for everybody and his dog - AMX, Mirages, Chinese aircraft industry...
 

apparition13

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F-14 for the RAF? Easy-peasy, with just two changes.

1. MRCA falls apart over differing UK and Germany range requirements. Tornado is DOA, just like the UK-France attempts at collaboration.

2. USN and Grumman get fed up with PW and the F401, and go with Allison's TF41 Model 912-B32 (17,000 dry, 27,000 wet), which is a Spey, and therefore UK, derivative.

So with no Tornado, and an F-14B (and eventually C for multi-role fighter and attack) with British Spey engines, the RAF decides to go with the Spey powered F-14B for the fighter role, and eventually the C in the early 80s as the Buccaneer replacement.

I'm leaving the RN out of this, because unless they bought a couple Forrestals on the cheap they won't have something to fly F-14s off of. There's the option of the CVV design if it went forward, or new-build JFKs which were the USN preference if they had a conventional carrier forced on them for only 100million more, but at 1.5 or 1.6 billion respectively a pair of either are likely out of reach. Now, if the RN had a couple Forrestals/CVVs/JFKs by the Falklands war, I suspect the Junta would have thought otherwise. A couple carriers with F-14Bs and E-2Cs for air defense, Buccaneers upgraded with Tornado-like avionics (since Tornado doesn't happen), and Harriers for CAS would have made short work of the invasion force that was historically deployed.

Edit: Archibald beat me to it while I was typing. Oh, and I suspect a smoother development process for the F-14 would kill the F-18 anyway. It might even take out the F-15. So it could be 14s and 16s all around.
 

uk 75

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The problem with your scenario is that the requirement for a strike aircraft to replace Canberra and Vulcan is simply too important to the MOD and RAF..Without Tornado you get either UKVG (longer range, more expensive) or we go back to the US and get some F111s (longer range, more expensive).
The RAF has Lightnings and F4s by 1980. Tornado ADV was the cheapest way of meeting the requirement for Air Defence. In its absence we would get more F4s, like Germany who used it until they got Typhoon.
As for US supercarriers for the RN. Lol
 

apparition13

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The problem with your scenario is that the requirement for a strike aircraft to replace Canberra and Vulcan is simply too important to the MOD and RAF..Without Tornado you get either UKVG (longer range, more expensive) or we go back to the US and get some F111s (longer range, more expensive).
The RAF has Lightnings and F4s by 1980. Tornado ADV was the cheapest way of meeting the requirement for Air Defence. In its absence we would get more F4s, like Germany who used it until they got Typhoon.
As for US supercarriers for the RN. Lol
Tornado did not and never had the range to replace Canberra or Vulcan. That's why the UK pulls out of Tornado in this scenario. Since Buccaneer is longer ranged than Tornado, a Buccaneer along the lines of P.108/P.145/P.149/with Tornado avionics (which it flew with during development of that avionics kit) could do the strike mission as well as the Tornado and at longer ranges, and do it years earlier to boot. The actual replacement would be the F-14C in the early 80s, which is when Tornado was deploying anyway.

Although, a wing or two of F-111Fs, after all the kinks had been worked out, would have worked a charm, and could have been had in the early to mid 70s, again years before Tornado. By the way, what did Tornado cost in 1979? The F-111F was between 10 and 11 million in 1973. I wonder what the difference actually was.

And yes, supercarriers for the RN in the 70s is a pipe dream given financial reality. But if you have F-14s anyway as under this scenario, it's an obvious flight of fancy. Hence the flight of fancy.
 
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uk 75

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Tornado was the only game in town for Germany to meet its strike aircraft requirement. It could have used the F4 but the Tornado was so much better in the strike role.
Compared with the cost of UKVG or F111 the Tornado kept British Aerospace in the serious military aircraft business and led to Typhoon.
F14 would have been a dead end.
 

Fluff

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Tornado was the only game in town for Germany to meet its strike aircraft requirement. It could have used the F4 but the Tornado was so much better in the strike role.
Compared with the cost of UKVG or F111 the Tornado kept British Aerospace in the serious military aircraft business and led to Typhoon.
F14 would have been a dead end.
Indeed it did. F111 or f14 would have been the death of bae, and in such a situation, the good salesman would hike the price.... a U.K. or god forbid, an eu option helps to keep the market fair.

and of course those overpriced tornadoes keep many many high paid jobs going, often in the industrial heartland. This off loads the dole, and keeps the country going.....
 

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So, one problem with the OP that no one has mentioned, is that the deal to return Iran's Tomcats to North America was a deal that saw Canada buying them for the NORAD mission of the RCAF. So if the RAF wants F-14s, they aren't getting them cheap through the backdoor. They're buying brand new ones off the line because the 79 Iran had would have been delivered to the RCAF before offering them to the UK.

The other major issue is endurance. I'm going off memory, so I may be wrong, but IIRC, the RAF looked at both the Eagle and the Tomcat for the BARCAP role. and quickly ruled both out as the F-15 would require some 25% more tanker support than the Tornado for the same mission profile while I think the Tomcat needed 10% more than the Tornado. The only way I can maybe see the RAF buying F-14s is if the RN stays in the big deck carrier business and buys Tomcats to replace the Phantom. And even thats a stretch that the treasury would pretty much have to force on the RAF as a cost saving measure from having a common fleet between the FAA and RAF.
 

apparition13

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As for Germany, without Tornado there's the AJ37 Viggen option. It's also an MRCA optimized for low level attack, and is available in the early 70s to replace F-104s in the strike mission. And the naval attack mission. With BAI and CAS to boot. Viggen can get you to the 80s (and beyond), at which point there would be Mirage 4000 and F-14C (earlier) and F-16xl, Lavi, and if it survives, F-15E (later). With Gripen and Rafale on the horizon. Though EF2000 is probably dead in the timeline.

Or if you really won't settle for anything less than two engines, Jaguar. Or the upgraded Buccaneers I mentioned. Or A-6Es. Or F-111Fs for the top of the line option. Or one of the German aerospace companies teams up with Northrop to develop and produce the P530. Or they team up with Dassault to produce the Mirage G8, or the ACF, or Mirage 4000. Tornado isn't the only option. It isn't even the only European option. Hell, for a real left field option, bring Kurt Tank back and have him build the HF-73 Marut design in Germany. "A German design for German needs."

If the F-15 also disappears Mcdonnell Douglas only has the Harrier for military aircraft. It would likely look to upgrade the F-4, say with FBW and canards like the CCV aircraft, and Boeing's conformal weapons carriage pallet. Add in a turbofan, and you're looking at an F-4 with more fuel, less loaded drag, more maneuverability, less SFC, and much longer range. Probably late 70s, say about the time Tornado went into service. It's a bit much for a simple upgrade package, but Germany would be capable of a complicated upgrade package, or new-build superduper Phantoms. (Quick aside: the ultimate strike Phantom: stretch and add the high lift wing, then put on all the conformal tanks and the CWC pallet Boeing proposed, and you're looking at 36000 pounds of fuel. With efficient turbofans you could be looking at a 1200+ nautical mile unrefueled mission radius).

Don't get me wrong, I really like the Tornado, and it did a lot for European aerospace, but if you're looking for a scenario to end up with UK Tomcats which is the point of the thread, killing Tornado combined with a Spey-Tomcat seems to me to be the most plausible "sliding door", and there are plenty of other options for Germany and Italy (and the UK) to do the Tornado IDS missions.
 
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apparition13

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The other major issue is endurance. I'm going off memory, so I may be wrong, but IIRC, the RAF looked at both the Eagle and the Tomcat for the BARCAP role. and quickly ruled both out as the F-15 would require some 25% more tanker support than the Tornado for the same mission profile while I think the Tomcat needed 10% more than the Tornado.
If true, that would be with TF-30s. The Tomcat had much more endurance with F401s, or with the proposed Spey/Allison engine in my version of this scenario.
 

zen

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So, one problem with the OP that no one has mentioned, is that the deal to return Iran's Tomcats to North America was a deal that saw Canada buying them for the NORAD mission of the RCAF.
So that's the missing thing I didn't know. Well we live and learn!
 

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So, one problem with the OP that no one has mentioned, is that the deal to return Iran's Tomcats to North America was a deal that saw Canada buying them for the NORAD mission of the RCAF.
So that's the missing thing I didn't know. Well we live and learn!
Again IIRC, the deal fell apart because Iran found out about Canada's role in hiding and smuggling out American Embassy personnel after the Revolution. Which sucks for Canada because the Tomcat was the perfect aircraft fit for the NORAD mission
 
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Purpletrouble

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If the UK had kept carriers - those Buccs and Phants would need replacing.

I have a longing for an AH where TSR2 is less compromised and the UK and US strike a deal with the latter cancelling F111 to free the USN to go F14 and USAF to buy US built TSR2s. With US support and avionics TSR2 could become awesome on both sides of the Atlantic (and W.Germany and Australia). UK buys lots of F4s plus Chinooks and Hercules (ignore inconsistenciss such as dates...).

Question is in the 70s, RAF needs a ADV type aircraft, RN needs something in the 80s to replace Buccs and F4s. Would MRCA Tornado still come out but reversed as a ln interceptor first am but still VG to give a carrier variabt - say F1/2 for RAF, FRS3 for RN and in the late 80s, perhaps a RAF FGR4 to replace early TSR2s?

Relevance? If the UK had gone for TSR2, its next project would need to be a fighter - could it have gone F14 instead? (level of effort on TSR2 perhaps precludes a new big project - especially, or not, in my scenario where it has semi-ceded fighters by getting oodles of F4s).
 

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TSR2 is less compromised and the UK and US strike a deal with the latter cancelling F111 to free the USN to go F14 and USAF to buy US built TSR2s
Not Invented Here. Not to mention, why would the US license an aircraft that gave them nothing that their own domestic design didn't already give them? Plus, the F-14 used a lot of systems developed for the F-111B. Like the engines, the AWG-9 radar/FCS, the AIM-54 missile, the wing pivot system, etc. Killing the F-111 for a vaporware foreign design kills the Tomcat too.


Would MRCA Tornado still come out but reversed as a ln interceptor first am but still VG to give a carrier variabt - say F1/2 for RAF, FRS3 for RN and in the late 80s
No. It takes a lot more than a swing wing to make a fighter carrier capable. Any naval Tornado will be an almost entirely different Aircraft from the RAF version. It is far easier to denavalise a carrier aircraft for land use than it is to make a land based design carrier capable.
 
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uk 75

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As has been pointed out, the F111 in either GD or Boeing version was the ideal fighter/attacker to replace Phantoms/Buccs on CVA01. But a modified F14 could do both roles.
In an RAF where simplified TSR2s and STOL P1154s had rebuilt the strike element, F4s would replace the Lightning. But as the Backfire Fencer threat developed, a TSR2ADV might lose out to a F14/F111 option for the RAF as the RN order is delivered.
The RAF by 1989 would have TSR2s F111/14 in UK and 1154s and 2 sqns of F4 in Germany.
The RN would have CVA01 and 2 with an F111/14 air group. Sacrifices would have been made in overall numbers of aircraft and especially the RN surface fleet (In 1989 only 4 T42 and a mix of unconverted T12 and 4T23
 

zen

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Going a bit OT....
However.
If they'd stuck to just the 600nm ROA, then all of the competing new designs would meet that criteria. Avro's design is equal place with EE's and Vickers despite the attractiveness of the Single Engined Type 571 should just have stuck to civilian transports.
Either way until Elliotts produce the attack computer for the A7, there is no way to get TSR.2 working.
Opting to choose just EE or Avro and a Fighter variant is actually quite feasible.

That said Vickers VG schemes are very attractive. Shades of TFX though.

But a Fighter design in the 70's is likely to move on from VG unless needed on the carriers.
 

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Opting to choose just EE or Avro and a Fighter variant is actually quite feasible.

That said Vickers VG schemes are very attractive. Shades of TFX though.
Reading this a VG P.17A came to mind.
Thinking what-if EE and Vickers merger still came about but around a P.17 TSR fighter variant but with Weybridge bringing VG to the table and Marston their naval experience.
A bit off the F-14 theme, but again its variations on a theme and very TFX-ish.
 
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Purpletrouble

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TSR2 is less compromised and the UK and US strike a deal with the latter cancelling F111 to free the USN to go F14 and USAF to buy US built TSR2s
Not Invented Here. Not to mention, why would the US license an aircraft that gave them nothing that their own domestic design didn't already give them? Plus, the F-14 used a lot of systems developed for the F-111B. Like the engines, the AWG-9 radar/FCS, the AIM-54 missile, the wing pivot system, etc. Killing the F-111 for a vaporware foreign design kills the Tomcat too.


Would MRCA Tornado still come out but reversed as a ln interceptor first am but still VG to give a carrier variabt - say F1/2 for RAF, FRS3 for RN and in the late 80s
No. It takes a lot more than a swing wing to make a fighter carrier capable. Any naval Tornado will be an almost entirely different Aircraft from the RAF version. It is far easier to denavalise a carrier aircraft for land use than it is to make a land based design carrier capable.
Sigh. The US did that with “TSR1”, did that with the Harrier and your F111B bits going to F14 is irrelevent since those systems would still be developed, as in fact they were. Your certainty on naval Tornado beijg diffiernet to reality/RAF is also nice but irrelevent - this would of course be a new aircraft as I suggested it would be since it would be interceptor first, although VG was clearly the thing at the time and where the UK wanted to go. Ruling out shared Navy and Air Force aircraft in the 70s is odd given the US did just that, and the UK had looked at a VG one since the early 60s.
As has been pointed out, the F111 in either GD or Boeing version was the ideal fighter/attacker to replace Phantoms/Buccs on CVA01. But a modified F14 could do both roles.
In an RAF where simplified TSR2s and STOL P1154s had rebuilt the strike element, F4s would replace the Lightning. But as the Backfire Fencer threat developed, a TSR2ADV might lose out to a F14/F111 option for the RAF as the RN order is delivered.
The RAF by 1989 would have TSR2s F111/14 in UK and 1154s and 2 sqns of F4 in Germany.
The RN would have CVA01 and 2 with an F111/14 air group. Sacrifices would have been made in overall numbers of aircraft and especially the RN surface fleet (In 1989 only 4 T42 and a mix of unconverted T12 and 4T23
Kind of - I’d have downgraded P1154 to 1127 sooner. This is basically “what would UK do (a) to suceed TSR2 as national plane program in the 70s (ie. home/european developed) and (b) what would it do to replace Lightning with an ADV like capability - bearing in mind the RN would be looking at Bucc and F4 replacements for the 80s.

It also assumes more resources, not least as carriers have been retained. As I said, it’s a longing for an AH not some kind of fully detailed “should have happened”!

But I accept it does divert the topic :)

Was F14 seen as a good thing in the 70s given it s engine problems? Does AIM54 fit into a RN task force where the surface SAMs are much shorter ranged than their US counterparts, and the UK does not have that outer air battle conops? Bear in mind its only just a few years ago got F4 with Sparrow.
 

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Sigh. The US did that with “TSR1”, did that with the Harrier
And what domestic US design offered the capabilities that the Canberra and Harrier did? (I'm assuming you mean the Canberra with TSR1? The only official TSR.I I can find is the Fairey Swordfish.) As I stated in my reply, the TSR2 offered nothing to the USAF that the F-111 didn't. Except it would be more expensive since they have to add a licensing fee to every aircraft built.


your F111B bits going to F14 is irrelevent since those systems would still be developed
Except those "bits" were key pieces of the F-14 and were fully developed for the F-111, then reused by Grumman to keep development costs low and shorten the time it would take to deliver a design to the Navy. If the F-111 is cancelled in preference for the TSR2, it would have to be cancelled early in development to make any kind of financial sense. So no, those "bits" likely don't make their way into the Tomcat.

Oh, btw, I'd also like to know how you plan to convince McNamara to abandon his pet project and buy multiple designs to fulfill the missions of the Air Force and Navy. Good luck on that one. The Navy had to do an end run on him and have Congress force the cancellation. Congress won't do that here when it kills jobs in their districts.


Your certainty on naval Tornado beijg diffiernet to reality/RAF is also nice but irrelevent - this would of course be a new aircraft as I suggested it would be since it would be interceptor first, although VG was clearly the thing at the time and where the UK wanted to go. Ruling out shared Navy and Air Force aircraft in the 70s is odd given the US did just that, and the UK had looked at a VG one since the early 60s.
And I'm telling you that regardless of whether it's a new Aircraft or not, a naval variant will be dramatically different from the land based variant. In OTL and in TTL, Tornado would be built to an RAF specification. Meaning a lot of airframe surgery will be needed to turn it into a naval fighter. It takes a lot more than just slapping a tailhook on something to make it carrier capable.
 

uk 75

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The VG aircraft for RAF and RN for the 1970s was the AFVG. If the carriers had not been cancelled in 1966, AFVG was to be ordered to replace Phantoms and Buccaneers on CVA01 and Eagle and join TSR2, then F111K in RAF service.
The French collapse this but the design lives on as UKVG.
If the carriers are still alive and RAF has TSR2 or F111K the UKVG or MRCA (if Germany and Italy join) becomes the F4 and Buccaneer replacement for the RAF and RN.
It would be the alt UK Tornado.
F14 amd F15 dont get a look in.
P1154 never happens (unless a magic way is found of PCB working)and AFVG etc replace it in this timeline as Tornado does Jaguar (except 3UKMF sqns) in ours. No P1127 either.
 
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Fluff

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Sigh. The US did that with “TSR1”, did that with the Harrier
And what domestic US design offered the capabilities that the Canberra and Harrier did? (I'm assuming you mean the Canberra with TSR1? The only official TSR.I I can find is the Fairey Swordfish.) As I stated in my reply, the TSR2 offered nothing to the USAF that the F-111 didn't. Except it would be more expensive since they have to add a licensing fee to every aircraft built.


your F111B bits going to F14 is irrelevent since those systems would still be developed
Except those "bits" were key pieces of the F-14 and were fully developed for the F-111, then reused by Grumman to keep development costs low and shorten the time it would take to deliver a design to the Navy. If the F-111 is cancelled in preference for the TSR2, it would have to be cancelled early in development to make any kind of financial sense. So no, those "bits" likely don't make their way into the Tomcat.

Oh, btw, I'd also like to know how you plan to convince McNamara to abandon his pet project and buy multiple designs to fulfill the missions of the Air Force and Navy. Good luck on that one. The Navy had to do an end run on him and have Congress force the cancellation. Congress won't do that here when it kills jobs in their districts.


Your certainty on naval Tornado beijg diffiernet to reality/RAF is also nice but irrelevent - this would of course be a new aircraft as I suggested it would be since it would be interceptor first, although VG was clearly the thing at the time and where the UK wanted to go. Ruling out shared Navy and Air Force aircraft in the 70s is odd given the US did just that, and the UK had looked at a VG one since the early 60s.
And I'm telling you that regardless of whether it's a new Aircraft or not, a naval variant will be dramatically different from the land based variant. In OTL and in TTL, Tornado would be built to an RAF specification. Meaning a lot of airframe surgery will be needed to turn it into a naval fighter. It takes a lot more than just slapping a tailhook on something to make it carrier capable.
Tornado had a tail hook......evil bstard too.

navalising is not rocket science, and if the need was known before hand, then it could have been accommodated. No need for folding wings, as you have sweeping wings.

lengthen the nose leg, bit more power,design in the structure and your good to go.

just my tupence, but how about U.K. agrees to have a standard forestall class, and air wing...... agreement that when in dock us would supply a loaner. If you think of all the benefits it’s a no brainier....
 

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So, one problem with the OP that no one has mentioned, is that the deal to return Iran's Tomcats to North America was a deal that saw Canada buying them for the NORAD mission of the RCAF. So if the RAF wants F-14s, they aren't getting them cheap through the backdoor. They're buying brand new ones off the line because the 79 Iran had would have been delivered to the RCAF before offering them to the UK.

The other major issue is endurance. I'm going off memory, so I may be wrong, but IIRC, the RAF looked at both the Eagle and the Tomcat for the BARCAP role. and quickly ruled both out as the F-15 would require some 25% more tanker support than the Tornado for the same mission profile while I think the Tomcat needed 10% more than the Tornado. The only way I can maybe see the RAF buying F-14s is if the RN stays in the big deck carrier business and buys Tomcats to replace the Phantom. And even thats a stretch that the treasury would pretty much have to force on the RAF as a cost saving measure from having a common fleet between the FAA and RAF.
I’m pretty sure, that had f15 or whatever been the favoured son, the analysis would have been versus 500 Lightning’s with victor tankers, versus f15 with vc10 tankers. That’s how it’s done...
 

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During the CVA-01 process the assessment of the future held open the idea of a 'Class II Fighter'. 32 Advanced Fighters could be replaced by just 12 Class II.

This is certainly down to the ability to engage multiple targets simultaneously.
The figure of 32 is based on a 4 plane flight flying CAP for 4 hours. But each aircraft can only engage one target at a time.

While something like the F14 or F-111B can engage....well while 6 is the quoted figure practically 4.....
So in planning terms F14 or F-111B frees up slots for 20 aircraft from the TAU or 10 per CVA-01.

In theory then, the maximal CV trade off study of 68,000tons could thus handle the full TAU of 66 fast jets. Only 3 of which could deliver the availability of 5 CVA-01 of 53,000tons.

Still all this misses the RN jumping on Sea Phoenix after Sea Dart mkII is cancelled.
 

uk 75

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I am completely baffled as to how Sea Phoenix would fit on Type 42s without the sort of elaborate midlife conversion in the 80s which had been ruled out for ships expected at that time to be replaced in the 90s by a UK variant of what became the NATO frigate 90.
There is a growing tendency in these posts to plonk weapons liked by posters into service without any realistic background to the decision.
 
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