Alternative Cold War History 1994

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F-14 Tomcat

F-14 Tomcat

Designed in the 60’s, fielded in the 70’s, by 1994 the F-14 was beyond mid life. Although an outstanding Air Superiority fighter, its prowess was based on its ability to carry the Aim-54 Phoenix long range missile designed to destroy Soviet bombers, but despite its size, it was a nimble dog-fighter. The original Tomcat was big (61,000 lbs), expensive and limited in capabilities to a single role.

In the late ‘80’s the USN embarked on a major upgrade program of its F-14 fleet in order to make it a more versatile, multi-role aircraft – this would solve the flexibility constraint but make it bigger and more expensive. The first upgrade was started in 1987 where the engines were replaced by an improved and more reliable one. These were further modified to enable them to carry bombs and they were renamed ‘Bombcats’. Historically 38 were built with another 48 rebuilt for a total of 96; in Northern Fury the rebuilds were saved for the F-14D so all 120 F-14Bs in service were built at 20/year between 1987 and 1992. Nine squadrons are equipped with this version.

The next version is the much more advanced F-14D ‘Super Tomcat’ (not to be confused with Super Tomcat 21). This version had the same improved engines as the Bombcats but also had a modern precision ground strike capability. The plan was for 137 new build followed by 400 rebuilt F-14A. Historically this plan was canceled in 1989 after 55 airframes were delivered (37 new, remainder rebuilt) but in Northern Fury the program continues with 162, mostly rebuilds already delivered and eight more arriving each month. Five squadrons are equipped with this version, another four are training and the Fleet Replacement Units (FRU) hold about 15 each.

In the Northern Fury world there are some alterations to historical production which are listed here:

  • 478 F-14A models were built which is historically accurate.

  • The F-14B was originally a mix of 67 rebuilt and 19 new production aircraft. However, in Northern Fury, all of these aircraft are new build and production continued from 1987 until 1992 at the rate of 20 per year for a total of 120 Bombcats built.

  • The rebuild program to F-14D standard continues with 162 delivered and 8 more completing each month.

  • There are 29 Tomcat squadrons (VF) in the fleet, one more than there was historically.

  • VF-101 ‘Grim Reapers’ on the East Coast, and VF-124 ‘Gunfighters’ on the West Coast, are the F-14 FRU Squadrons with a mix of A, B and D models. They conduct certification and qualification training. Each has about 35 airframes but that fluctuates as replacements are needed in the fleet and they draw new ones from the replacement pool or storage.

Sqn Name CVW No. Type Remarks
VF-1 Wolfpack CVW-2 12 F-14A USS Constellation
VF-2 Bounty Hunters CVW-2 12 F-14A USS Constellation
VF-11 Red Rippers CAW-14 12 F-14D USS Carl Vinson
VF-21 Free Lancers CVW-5 12 F-14A USS Independence
VF-24 Fighting Renegades CVW-9 12 F-14A USS Nimitz
VF-31 Tomcatters CAW-14 12 F-14D USS Carl Vinson
VF-32 Fighting Swardsmen CVW-3 12 F-14B USS Eisenhower
VF-33 Starfighters CVW-1 12 F-14A USS America
VF-41 Black Aces CVW-8 12 F-14A USS T Roosevelt
VF-51 Screamin' Eagles CAW-6 12 F-14A USS Enterprise
VF-74 Be-Devilers CVW-15 12 F-14B USS Kitty Hawk
VF-83 Rampagers CVW-17 12 F-14B USS Saratoga
VF-84 Jolly Rogers CVW-15 12 F-14B USS Kitty Hawk
VF-101 Grim Reapers FRS 36 F-14A/B/D NAS Oceana
VF-102 Diamondbacks CVW-1 12 F-14A USS America
VF-103 Sluggers CVW-10 12 F-14B USS George Washington
VF-111 Sundowners CAW-6 12 F-14B USS Enterprise
VF-114 Aardvarks CVW-8 12 F-14A USS T Roosevelt
VF-124 Gunfighters CVW-7 12 F-14D USS JF Kennedy
VF-126 Bandits FRS 33 F-14A/B/D NAS Miramar
VF-142 Ghostriders CVW-10 12 F-14B USS George Washington
VF-143 Pukin Dogs CVW-7 12 F-14B USS JF Kennedy
VF-154 Black Knights CVW-5 12 F-14A USS Independence
VF-191 Satan's Kittens CVW-11 12 F-14A USS Abraham Lincoln
VF-194 Red Lightnings CVW-3 12 F-14B USS Eisenhower
VF-201 Devils Disciples CVWR-20 12 F-14A JRSB Fort Worth
VF-202 Superheats CVWR-20 12 F-14A NAS Dallas
VF-211 Checkmates CVW-9 12 F-14A USS Nimitz
VF-213 Black Lions CVW-11 12 F-14A USS Abraham Lincoln
VF-301 Devils Disciples CVWR-30 12 F-14D NAS Miramar
VF-302 Stallions CVWR-30 12 F-14D NAS Miramar