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Iranian F-14 Units in Combat



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 3rd 07, 08:43 PM posted to rec.aviation.military.naval
TV
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Posts: 22
Default Iranian F-14 Units in Combat

Sorry for posting on topic, but I can't help talk about the beloved F-14!

Recently, I finished reading Tom Cooper and Farzad Bishop's book on the 1980
Iran/Iraq war, and the role of Iranian f-14 units in the conflict. Overall,
the book states that the US and other sources greatly underestimated the
contribution and effectiveness of the F-14 in that conflict. Basically,
where it showed up, Iraqi planes died. Including the most successful Mig
ever, the Mig-25 (the -21 has more kills, the -29 might be better, but
the -25 has the best kill ratio IIRC). The book focuses heavily on AIM-54
engagements, even though they constituted a minority of the kills (around
1/3 IIRC). AIM-9s dominated the kill list, with -7s and guns taking a
distant 3rd and 4th. Everything in the book jives with what I know about
tomcats, which is a plus and a minus. It's a plus because pilots talk about
dealing with the notoriously bad engines for example, it's a minus because
none of the book is beyond the fictional capabilities of someone who has a
civilian knowledge of the jet. Perhaps the most interesting bits were how
the use of Combat Tree for NCTR allowed the Iranians to ID individual plane
types. I have no idea how accurate this is, given the continued sensitivity
of NCTR in western air forces.

Other things that stand out include:
1- How important pilots from the previous regime where in using the Tomcats,
and training future pilots.
2- The potential US involvement on the side of the Iraqis in at least
intimidating Iranian pilots in the Gulf.
3- The claimed resourcefullness of Iranians in obtaining spare parts from
the US and/or Israel, and eventually making some of them themselves.
Nevertheless, the F-14 fleet was largely grounded. Many of those that did
fly flew without the combat computer being operational, thus limiting them
to AIM-9s. Iranians claimed that the F-14 was still so dominant even in WVR
engagements that this wasn't a major problem (most F-14 pairs with
operational radar flew with lead having 2 -54s, wingman having just -7s).
4- The absolute effectiveness of the AWG-9, including vs. jamming targets.
5- The naivete of the Western press, including explanations of why the
Tomcat was purchased. Iranian F-14 pilots were (IMO) rightly incensed about
reports that the Shah bought the most expensive (at that time) foreign
weapons purchase in US history simply based on a flashy airshow performance.
Frankly, I think anyone who knows jets would argue that the F-14 outclasses
the F-15 except for WVR (F-14A) and cost/maintenance (significant minus).
It does support the authors' contention that the Western media was biased
against giving credit to the Iranians for having any sense. Certainly, a
number of their F-14 pilots seemed to have plenty of training and experience
in the jet prior to the war.
6- Several F-14 losses were supposedly due to blue-on-blue SAM engagements.
One, denied by the Iranians, later had the wreckage found by independent
divers in the Gulf, disproving official Iranian claims.

Glaring ommissions include:
1- Detailed reasons and/or explanations of why the authors' account is so
different from US and Iranian official accounts of the war. It's certainly
plausible for the US to downplay the effectiveness of jets sold to an ally
turned enemy and for Iranian officials to downplay the role of pilots from
the previous regime, but a comple account would ideally address this issue
in greater detail.
2- Granted, its a small Osprey book, but detailed accounts of more
encounters would've been nice.
3- More detailed OOB for both sides, but especially the F-14 units.

Overall, I enjoyed the book with a grain of salt. Certainly, I think that
the US has downplayed and/or ignored the role of the F-14 in the conflict.
A SINGLE F-14 with operational Combat Tree would be a tremendous advantage,
let alone 12-24 operational with the AWG-9, AIM-54, and Combat Tree. Until
the F-22, I wouldn't want to match any other airplane against that
combination. At best, this book opens the curtains on Western ignorance on
the outstanding performance of the F-14 under far from ideal conditions. At
worst, it's a great "what if" book about the potential for the F-14 against
contemporary military hardware. I enjoyed it.

TV


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  #2  
Old September 5th 07, 05:53 PM posted to rec.aviation.military.naval
Yeff
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Posts: 28
Default Iranian F-14 Units in Combat

On Mon, 3 Sep 2007 15:43:33 -0400, TV wrote:

I think anyone who knows jets would argue that the F-14 outclasses
the F-15 except for WVR (F-14A) and cost/maintenance (significant minus).


I think anyone who knows kill ratios would argue differently.

--

-Jeff B.
zoomie at fastmail fm
  #3  
Old September 6th 07, 02:10 PM posted to rec.aviation.military.naval
j*c*d*a*t*[email protected]/gmail.com
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Posts: 7
Default Iranian F-14 Units in Combat

Kill ratios are all about opportunity.






On Sep 5, 12:53 pm, Yeff wrote:
On Mon, 3 Sep 2007 15:43:33 -0400, TV wrote:
I think anyone who knows jets would argue that the F-14 outclasses
the F-15 except for WVR (F-14A) and cost/maintenance (significant minus).


I think anyone who knows kill ratios would argue differently.

--

-Jeff B.
zoomie at fastmail fm



  #4  
Old September 6th 07, 03:29 PM posted to rec.aviation.military.naval
TV
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 22
Default Iranian F-14 Units in Combat

True, and I don't think that anyone would doubt the effectiveness of an
AIM-54 equipped Tomcat-B vs. an F-15A/C (excluding AMRAAMs). Personally, I
think that the F-15 is the best proven fighter out there. The one with the
most potential that was never fully used would be the F-14 IMO (not
including the -22). Now if Tom's book is true, the Tomcat has a very
impressive kill ratio under far more difficult circumstances than either
USAF, IAF, or RSAF F-15s. Not too often did USAF/IAF -15s go into the air
without working radars!

TV

" wrote in message
oups.com...
Kill ratios are all about opportunity.

On Sep 5, 12:53 pm, Yeff wrote:
On Mon, 3 Sep 2007 15:43:33 -0400, TV wrote:
I think anyone who knows jets would argue that the F-14 outclasses
the F-15 except for WVR (F-14A) and cost/maintenance (significant
minus).


I think anyone who knows kill ratios would argue differently.

--

-Jeff B.
zoomie at fastmail fm





  #5  
Old September 6th 07, 03:37 PM posted to rec.aviation.military.naval
Orval Fairbairn
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Posts: 824
Default Iranian F-14 Units in Combat

In article ,
"TV" wrote:

True, and I don't think that anyone would doubt the effectiveness of an
AIM-54 equipped Tomcat-B vs. an F-15A/C (excluding AMRAAMs). Personally, I
think that the F-15 is the best proven fighter out there. The one with the
most potential that was never fully used would be the F-14 IMO (not
including the -22). Now if Tom's book is true, the Tomcat has a very
impressive kill ratio under far more difficult circumstances than either
USAF, IAF, or RSAF F-15s. Not too often did USAF/IAF -15s go into the air
without working radars!


Anybody want to predict the outcome of Iranian F-14s (in current state
of maintenance) vs USAF F-15s, F-16s, or F-22s with AWACS support?
 




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