|Grumman F-14 Tomcat|
Ride into the danger zone.
|Class||Air Superiority Fighter|
|Armor||Front 0 / Side 0 / Rear 0 / Top 0|
|Fuel Capacity||6500 L|
|Type||Marines, Airborne, Mechanized, Armored, Motorized, Support|
|Gatling Gun||M61A1 Vulcan (20mm)|
|AAM||AIM-54 Phoenix (Radar)|
|AAM||AIM-9L Sidewinder (IR)|
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for the United States Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental (VFX) program following the collapse of the F-111B project, and was the first of the American teen-series fighters which were designed incorporating the experience of air combat against MiG fighters during the Vietnam War.
The F-14 first flew on 21 December 1970 and made its first deployment in September 1974 with the U.S. Navy aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65), replacing the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, and participating in Operation Frequent Wind where its crews flew Combat Air Patrols in support of the evacuation of Saigon. The F-14 served as the U.S. Navy's primary maritime air superiority fighter, fleet defense interceptor and tactical reconnaissance platform. Its roles were expanded in the 1990's, when it was given precision strike capability, and its crews were trained to perform the Forward Air Control (Airborne) mission. The Tomcat first saw combat in 1981 when two F-14s from the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) engaged 2 Libyan fighters over the Gulf of Sidra. The incident ended with both Libyan fighters being destroyed with no American losses.
The F-14 is one of only two long-range interceptor aircraft available in-game, the other being the MiG-31. The Tomcat's "fighter" loadout of Sparrow and Sidewinder missiles is not represented in-game - only its heavy interception loadout of six long range fire-and-forget Phoenix missiles. Although it could carry two AIM-9's along with the six AIM-54's in reality, the Tomcat in-game is not configured with a Sidewinder compliment, which makes it vulnerable to shorter range fighters if they get close in.
The Tomcat does carry a 20mm vulcan cannon, however, which allows it to defend itself at short range against other aircraft, to strafe ground targets, or to attack helicopters (since its AIM-54 compliment can't be used for this purpose). It is best used in-game to fire long-range shots at enemy aircraft as they become visible, and can be used to surprisingly good effect on strafing runs, especially in the late-game if enemy Integrated Air Defense Systems (IADS) have been neutralized.
In Wargame: Red Dragon, prior to the release of Map Pack #3, the F-14 Tomcat was strictly a Naval asset (i.e. it could only be selected in the Naval unit tab for decks, and could only be employed on maps with Naval control points). Following the release of Map Pack #3, the F-14 was made available as both an American Air asset, as well as a BLUFOR Naval asset. Initially, both Air and Naval cards were identical, however, following the addition of the Netherlands DLC, the Air card was changed to only allow for a single "Trained" F-14, while the Naval card allows for either 2 "Trained" F-14s or a single "Elite" F-14. This was likely done to balance the deck with available MiG-31 Foxhound aircraft (two basic MiG-31 and a single MiG-31M, allowing for 3 MiG-31s compared to up to 4 F-14s prior to the Netherlands patch).
The F-14 Tomcat in Wargame: Red Dragon is a 155-point Air Superiority fighter, carrying four long-range fire-and-forget AIM-54 Phoenix missiles, two short-range fire-and-forget AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles, and a 20mm Vulcan cannon. Its ECM has been slightly improved compared to ALB (30%), and the type has Exceptional air detection. The long-ranged AIM-54 Phoenix gives the F-14 first shot against every single PACT fighter except the MiG-31M, which carries the equal-ranged R-37 Vympel, and the addition of two AIM-9L's allows the F-14 to attack enemy helicopters or more efficiently engage enemy fighters at close range than with the Vulcan alone. The Vulcan adds to the Tomcat's tactical flexibility: apart from its aerial function, the Vulcan allows the Tomcat to perform strafing runs against infantry and lightly-armored vehicles.
The Tomcat has a few drawbacks; it is fairly expensive at 155 points per aircraft, worth sending several less expensive aircraft to swarm and splash. Its Phoenix missile, although powerful, long-ranged and fire-and-forget, is not as accurate as most medium-range missiles carried by top-of-the-line REDFOR fighters, nor is the Tomcat's ECM as good as that found on some of the more expensive threat aircraft (e.g. MiG-31, Su-27 series), though it is improved from its ALB incarnation.
- The F-14s seen in game have United States Marine Corps markings, which is incorrect. Although the USMC had planned on purchasing F-14s to replace their own F-4s, they dropped out of the program in the mid-1970s. This left the United States Navy and Iranian Air Force as the Tomcat's only operators.