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19789 No. 19789 ID: 9723b1
The Super Tomcat 21 would be a modification of the original F-14 design and it was to feature GE-F110-129 motors that would allow the Tomcat to super-cruise (achieve mach 1+ without using afterburner) continuously at mach 1.3. Additionally, the jet would have an upgraded APG-71 radar, modified and enlarged control surfaces, and enlarged leading edge root extensions (LERX) that would house more fuel and enhance the jet's low speed handling capabilities. Thrust vectoring nozzles tied directly to a new digital flight control system were also an option. These modifications would give the "Turkey Bird" true super-maneuverability and eye-watering acceleration and sustained speed. Additionally, super-cruise combined with its additional internal fuel carriage capacity would have given the Super Tomcat much greater range than it already had. The jet would also be able to carry targeting and navigation pods, giving it true multi-role capability. Finally, a new single-piece windscreen would be added to provide much better forward visibility.

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>> No. 19790 ID: 9723b1
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Any article about this iconic fighter plane, still operating with the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, its story, capabilities, records and surrounding anecdotes, always become a much debated and commented post on The Aviationist. For this reason, we will continue writing about this legendary plane and its replacement: the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

After the Tomcat retirement, the Rhino (as the F/A-18E/F is nicknamed by its aircrews) has not only quickly become the backbone of every Carrier Air Wing (CVW), but it has also replaced some of the oldest Legacy Hornets on the American flattops. Having fulfilled such a difficult task, the Super Hornet has demonstrated to be one of the best multirole jets available today. But could an advanced version of the F-14 have been even better?

LCDR Joe “Smokin” Ruzicka, who was the Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) who flew the last F-14 Demonstration before the Tomcat’s retirement in 2006, last year released an interesting interview to Foxtrot Alpha’s Tyler Rogoway. Among all the other things, Ruzicka explained that, while the Super Hornet is a great plane, it seems like its strength mainly comes from technology. “In the Tomcat, I think you had to be a better aviator because the technology just wasn’t there. It was up to the aircrew to maximize its performance (or minimize it if you sucked).”

That said, one might wonder whether integrating the same technology in the F-14 would have been possible.

By 1987, Grumman realized that the potential for growth had not yet been reached by the F-14 airframe, and they proposed to the U.S. Navy four advanced versions of the F-14, as told by Tim Callaway in Issue 13 “Grumman F-14 Tomcat” of Aviation Classics magazine.

The F-14D Quickstrike was the first proposal: featuring an enhanced version of the APG-71 radar, this advanced Tomcat version would have carried stand off weapons such as the Harpoon, HARM and SLAM (Standoff Land Attack Missile) missiles.

Requiring only new software and minor modifications to existing F-14Ds, the Quickstrike would have been a cost-effective attack platform but it didn’t meet the Advanced Tactical Fighter specification and the U.S. Navy chose the shorter ranged F/A-18E/F.

The second proposal was the ST21, the Super Tomcat for the 21st Century. The latter would have been a structural upgrade to the existing F-14Ds, that would have introduced a new wing glove design and single piece windscreen, while sensors positioned in front of the under fuselage weapons rails would have supplemented the chin pods. Moreover the ST21 would have also received a new engine the F110-GE-129 of 13,154kg of thrust, which would have provided a supercruise speed of Mach 1.3 featuring also thrust vectoring nozzles for greater maneuverability. These new engines would have supplied to the ST21 a tremendous acceleration alongside with a greatly increased range of the aircraft.

Another modification to the standard F-14D would have been the AST21, the Attack Super Tomcat for the 21st Century.

This advanced Tomcat would have been fitted with additional extra bomb pylons under the engine nacelles, a nuclear weapons capability, a modified radar with a Forward Air Controller (FAC) mode and an Integrated Defensive Avionics Package (IDAP) to improve survivability in the air to ground environment. The last proposal, as Callaway explains, was the ASF-14 Advanced Strike Fighter.

The ASF-14 would have been a totally new aircraft with the F-14 shape and it would have taken advantages of the new materials and new technologies developed for the Advanced Tactical Fighter and Advanced Tactical Attack Aircraft programs.

None of these proposals has been built and we’ll never know if an advanced Tomcat would have been better than the actual Super Hornet, but for sure these two fighters are two different aircraft as explained by Ruzicka, who told to Rogoway that the better way to understand the differences between the F-14 and the F/A-18E/F is using the analogy of a muscle car to a mini-van, “with the Tomcat being the former and the Super Hornet being the latter. The muscle car doesn’t have much to it in the way of fancy technology, just some raw speed and the coolness of a Steve McQueen movie, but it gets the job done. The mini-van on the other hand is a very nice car, complete with DVR’s for the kids, Air Conditioning, power windows, and lots of places to put your sippy cup. It’s a great car—-but it’s still a mini-van.”

>> No. 19791 ID: 9723b1
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>> No. 19792 ID: 0e366e
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Hiding that big radar cross-signature is going to be what kills this proposal.
The F-14 Tomcat was retired in 2006. Perhaps the only way this big bird will fly again is as a drone where the Navy will be slightly less concerned with survivalibility, but maintenance will still be a daunting cost.
>> No. 19793 ID: 0e366e
  F-14 Tomcat Shredder https://youtu.be/9W7pph9KhYY
The F-14 Tomcat was finally retired in 2006 after her career as an interceptor in 1974. The Tomcats in better shape were wrapped in plastic and sent to boneyards for storage and a possible future use. The ones in poor shape were scrapped. This is what happens with military technology as it slowly sinks into obsolescence.
>> No. 19794 ID: 0e366e
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Perhaps the old Tomcat can be used as a drone, but I think this is unlikely. Replace the cockpits with fuel tanks and a satellite antenna, upgrade the avionics, electronics, computers, radar and engines, slap some stealth on her (or something to reduce her gigantic radar cross-section), and use her speed, range and long-range AIM-54 Phoenix missiles (what little remain) to defend the fleet as an unmanned interceptor or load her with bombs as a strike fighter.
>> No. 19795 ID: 06a0fb
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as cool as a drone F-14 would be, advances in technology, wing loading, loiter capability and composite materials have made newer combat drones much more effective then a fleet of larger airframes.

We're only now starting to find out about drones that the big defense UAV manufacturers have been using since the early stages of OEF/OIF.

The Lockheed Martin Polecat is being used as tech development leader for a new class of UCAVs in a long-range strike role, essentially UAV precision bomber platforms.
The RQ-180 from Northrop Grumman is probably the first product of this program, and the final product of the X-47C development program.

Image is confirmed by NG to be very close to the final layout of the RQ-180, but with a wingspan in the 100+ foot length. Sources indicate 130 feet likely. 24 hour endurance and 1200+ mile range.
>> No. 19796 ID: 6239e4
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But the advantage of taking retired aircraft and upgrading them to extend their service life or make them into new and different planes is that the planes have already been bought and even extensive upgrades are usually far less expensive than buying new aircraft.

Like the proposal for upgrading old F-15E Strike Fighters to F-15SE Silent Eagles instead of buying the terminally troubled F-35.

- OVER THE ATLANTIC OCEAN -- An F-15 Eagle banks left while an F/A-22 Raptor flies in formation en route to a training area off the coastline of Virginia on April 5. The 27th Fighter Squadron is performing regular operations with two Raptors on loan from Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. The first Langley AFB, Va., F-22 is due to arrive within the next month. The F-15 is assigned to the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley AFB.
>> No. 19797 ID: 6239e4
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>> No. 19803 ID: 360765
It would have had a sustained 77 degree angle of attack without relying on vectoring nozzles, as well as carry any ordnance F-15 can.

It's a great airplane but this thing killed the portion of the ATF program designated for the Navy (NATF), and I can't forgive that.
>> No. 19804 ID: cf0776
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Naval Advanced Tactical Fighter (NATF) 1988-1991 - Due to Congressional intervention, the US Navy agreed to evaluate a navalized version of the US Air Force's Advanced Tactical Fighter (now the F/A-22) as a possible replacement for their F-14s. In return, the US Air Force would evaluate a derivative of the ATA as a replacement for their F-111s.

In late 1988, a Naval ATF (NATF) program office was set up at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the existing ATF Dem/Val contracts were modified to include studies of potential NATF variants.

The Major Aircraft Review reduced the peak production rates of both the ATF and NATF. This had the effect of substantially increasing the program cost. In August 1990, Admiral Richard Dunleavy, who was in charge of Navy aircraft requirements, stated that he did not see how the NATF could fit into any affordable plan for naval aviation. In early 1991, before the final contractor for the ATF was even selected, the consideration of the NATF was dropped. This was mainly due to the fact that the Navy realized that a series of upgrades to their existing F-14's could meet the Navy's air superiority needs through 2015.

The F-22N was studied in the Major Aircraft Review as an NATF concept, and canceled in large measure because the projected high gross take-off weight exceed the capacity of current carriers. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/natf.htm

- F-22 with variable-sweep wings for the U.S. Navy's Navy Advanced Tactical Fighter (NATF) program.
>> No. 19805 ID: cf0776
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Carrier aircraft fly slower approaches than land-based aircraft and must be able to perform a waveoff at low speed. Therefore, a full power 1.5g turn at 0.2M and sea level with all stores and reserve fuel on board may be needed to ensure an adequate maneuver margin. This requirement determines the wing loading for sea-based aircraft [the SSF was exempt from this waveoff requirement because it performs vertical landings].

Carrier operations require heavier structures for several reasons: 1) arrested landings require a tail hook and reinforced fuselage, 2) landing gear are designed for 24 ft/s sink rate, and 3) catapult launches require reinforced nose gear and a strengthened fuselage. These weight increments are difficult to quantify because there are no data for aircraft that were designed for both land-based and sea-based operations with exactly the same mission capability. For example, contrary to the expected navalization penalty, the land-based F-4 actually had a higher empty weight than the carrier-based version. But in this case the land-based version used the increased strength and wing area of the carrier aircraft to carry an increased equipment load, which equates to higher mission capability. Similarly, few aircraft have successfully made the transition from land-based to sea-based operations. The carrier version of the British Hawk did perform catapult launches and arrested landings but required substantial structural reinforcement to do so. The navalized Hawk is approximately 11% heavier empty, but it can no longer fly as far as the land-based version.

Since historical research did not provide values for fuselage and landing gear weight penalties for carrier operations, an estimate had to be made another way. To this end, the F-14 and F-18 were modelled using ACSYNT's land-based weight equations. The actual aircraft fuselage and landing gear structure weights were approximately 30% greater than those modelled by ACSYNT. Therefore, 30% fuselage and landing gear weight penalties may be applied to carrier-based aircraft in this study. Informal comments by US Navy personnel agreed that 30% was a reasonable estimate.

Early in the ATF/NATF development, a Naval variant of the F-22 could have been developed. By the late 1990s, however, to graft a Naval requirement onto an existing F-22 program would be similar to the mistake that the Department made in developing the F-111. In that program, DOD directed the Air Force to add Naval requirements to an existing Air Force EMD concept "with minimal disruption" to the program. As a result, the Naval version of the F-111 was significantly overweight and subsequently canceled in favor of a new start Navy aircraft, the F-14. The appropriate time to join multi-service requirements is early in the program, and the ideal time is while the requirements are being developed in a balanced systems engineering approach.
>> No. 19806 ID: cf0776
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F-22 Raptors deploy to Estonia

An F-22 Raptor pilot from the 95th Fighter Squadron based at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., gets situated in his aircraft prior to taking off from Ämari Air Base, Estonia, Sept. 4, 2015. The F-22s have previously deployed to both the Pacific and Southwest Asia for Airmen to train in a realistic environment while testing partner nations' ability to host advanced aircraft like the F-22. http://www.af.mil/News/Photos.aspx?igphoto=2001289424
>> No. 19807 ID: 634497
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Mother of God.
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