Scared of the F-14 Tomcat?

Posted: January 30, 2007 in Uncategorized

<this post brought to you by Windows Live Writer Beta!>
The U.S. warplane made famous by Maverick and Goose was retired last year. However, it’s still one of the most advanced and deadliest aircraft in the skies today. And today, the U.S. government suddenly remembered that they sold about 80 of these planes to Iran 30 years ago…and has stopped production of spare parts sold to help maintain them, fearing that the parts would make their way to Iran.

Thhhpppt. Big deal. At least three of those planes are confirmed lost. The Western arms embargo enforced due to the Iranian hostage crisis put spare parts out of reach for years…as a result, when the Iran/Iraq war heated up, the Iranians were cannibalizing some planes to keep others flying, maybe keeping 15-20 Tomcats in the air. It’s rumored that some parts got smuggled to them via Israel, while other parts can be manufactured by Iran themselves. Could they have re-bolstered their working numbers up to 60 since the war ended, or are they closer to having maybe 35 still in operation?

And does that matter? After all, their friendly Iraqi neighbor Saddam gifted them about 120 near-perfect MiGs during Desert Storm (well, Iran agreed to let Saddam "park" them in Iran for awhile so that the U.S. couldn’t keep shooting them down…that favor didn’t really work out for Iraq’s air force). What the U.S. should be more concerned about is how much support Iran is getting from Russia to maintain that mountain of MiGs they’ve got stashed all over the place…and then worry about how much support Russia gives to modify the rest of Iran’s aging F-14 fleet.


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