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Pentagon shreds F-14s to keep parts from enemies

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posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 12:34 PM
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- A mechanical monster grabs the F-14 fighter jet and chews through one wing and then another, ripping off the Tomcat's appendages before moving on to its guts. Finally, all that's left is a pile of shredded rubble -- like scraps from a Thanksgiving turkey.

The Pentagon is paying a contractor at least $900,000 to destroy old F-14s, a jet affectionately nicknamed "the turkey," rather than sell the spares. The Pentagon fears that if the surplus jets aren't destroyed, they could fall into the wrong hands, including Iran's.



www.cnn.com...


As powerful as the grinding machinery is, the entire F-14 cannot be shredded. The landing gear -- built to withstand the force of slamming onto an aircraft carrier's deck -- must be cut by hand with a demolition torch. It's made from steel with parts of titanium, so the shears can't cut it and the shredder can't chew it.



This was an amazing plane and by far my favorite. as that last paragraph I quoted stated, it was very tough.




posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 12:37 PM
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Nice, it would seem the landing gear would be the strongest, no mater the landing.



posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 01:02 PM
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This kind of thing is like hearing about people who kill kittens to me. I understand the reasoning behind this, but the F-14 was my favorite aircraft of all time. So it's like hearing that Santa Claus got shot down for violating airspace, it's just so sad.

But at least I can take pride in that the shredder couldn't take down the landing gear.



posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 01:22 PM
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The F-14. The real hero of Top Gun.

Although only shot down 4 enemy aircraft in total. It was the greatest plane to ever take off of an aircraft carrier. I've seen these planes fly by 100 feet over head. They are massive! Impressive! and Beautiful! Still, they've been around over 30 years. The poor things are showing their age. The final flight ceremony had to use a stand-by backup for the flight because the one that taxied to the end of the runway broke down. On to bigger and better things.

*Salutes*




posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 04:39 PM
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Although hard-pressed to maintain their fleet of American-built fighters, Iranian ground crews kept as many as 60 Tomcats mission capable throughout much of the war, despite a lack of parts, normal attrition, and dwindling
supplies of material and munitions. Iranian F-14 crews clashed repeatedly with Iraqi MiGs and French Mirage F-Is as the Iraqis attacked Iranian oil platforms and storage facilities. The fact that many of these highly skilled, aggressive Iranian crews had been in prison after the revolution makes their story all the more remarkable. These crews are responsible for the only kills scored by the highly touted Phoenix missile, which, along with the AWG-9 nose-mounted radar, was at the heart of the F14's weapons system. Throughout the book, the Tomcat's capabilities are highlighted in a way not seen in accounts of U.S. Navy operations and are nearly too much to be believed. Iraqi MiG-21 and MiG-23 pilots didn't stand a chance against the big American swing-wing fighter. The equally large and powerful MiG-25-some flown by Soviet instructor pilots-had to rely on its eye-watering speed to disengage from a flight of IRIAF Tomcats.

IRIAF Tomcats scored the F-14's first kills a full year before the U.S. Navy's Fighter Squadron 41 Libyan MiG killers, and if the book is to be believed, went on to gain more than 150 victories against the Iraqis. According to the list of individual kills in the book's appendices, there appear to be two or three IRIAF F-14 aces, one of whom scored at least nine confirmed kills.

This book's photos and text abound with surprising details and accounts little known in the Western press, which the authors say was sadly misinformed as to the status and operational readiness of the IRIAF's Tomcat fleet. One unfortunately confusing aspect of the text is the authors' assertion that the names of the pilots whose experiences are featured in the text are not their true identities. Thus, as we read about a particular pilot's success or consult the appendices for details on Tomcat kills, we wonder who the Iranian aviator really was. However, I have since learned that the names given in the list of kills are the actual names. A little confusing, but at least we have some idea of these successful crews' identities.

This work is an entertaining look at an air force and arena that have seldom seen any in-depth exposure.

[Author Affiliation]
By Cdr. Peter B. Mersky, USNR (Ret.)

www.acig.org...



It does Tom Cooper and Farhad Bishop a disservice to compare this book to any other on the aerial aspects of the Iran-Iraq War. The aircraft enthusiast community is a competitive and often bitchy environment, but an attempt to detract from this book should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

The book is meticulous yet written with great passion. Literally dozens of forgotten episodes of this fascinating air war are brought to light for the first time. Only serious investigative research, including exclusive primary evidence gathered during in-country interviews, can generate the level of detail and colour contained in this book. Cooper and Bishop maintain an enviable contact book that many aviation journalists can only dream of. In a profession of bluffers, they are real experts. This is the reason for much of the criticism they face.

I can attest that the book is slowly getting read and recommended onwards amongst military and regional specialists in Washington and throughout the US military community. The reason is obvious. The book shows, in detail, how developing world countries (and particularly Iran) can use the higghest levels of military technology and even improve on their employment through local innovation. If you were wowed by laser-guided bombs and electronic warfare in the wee hours of 17 January 1991, then spare a thought for those who were fighting that kind of war from 1980-1988. This is what Cooper and Bishop have so expertly done.

Dr Michael Knights
Washington Institute for Near East Policy

www.amazon.com...


I have some more but this is a good place to start and shows just how much can be hidden by simply not covering it in the regular western press.

Stellar



posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 06:09 PM
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Ah! This makes more sense now. Instead of selling the parts for scrap they just want to get them off the market so Iran can't keep their planes flying. I was wondering about this myself. I didn't see the F-14 as being some huge threat to the U.S. but that would not be the case if Iran was attacking U.S. ships in the gulf with these things.

Another link in the chain that points towards war, or just precautionary measures?



posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 07:41 PM
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Keeping brand new F-14's from 79 (with 20 years worth of flight hours and with little airframe stress due to no prior high tempo ops or carrier landings) air worthy through the early to mid 80's is not that exciting of a revelation. More interestingly is how airworthy would Iran's F-14's be if they operated in that same Iran-Iraq war temp for 25 year straight with carrier landings in between?



posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 09:06 PM
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So are any being preserved at all ?

It is a shame if some don't go to museums ?



posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 09:50 PM
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I'm pretty sure F-14's are still allowed to be on museum display, it's just that they want to be sure all the museum is getting is the empty shell. Some are being destroyed and I suppose others will go into storage at AMARC.



posted on Jul, 3 2007 @ 05:28 AM
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Is it not implying a severe lack of confidence of the replacement if the Pentagon feels they have to destroy the replaced aircraft?

That is certainly the first thing that I read into it.




For morale purposes alone, the USN or USAF would love to beat up on the Iranian Airforces - but how will they do that if their fleets are grounded?


Unless of course, they realise that the performance difference between the Iranian F-14 and the USAF F-15/F-16/F-18 is not near as big (if existent at all) as they'd like the public to think.



posted on Jul, 3 2007 @ 02:20 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
For morale purposes alone, the USN or USAF would love to beat up on the Iranian Airforces - but how will they do that if their fleets are grounded?


Another thought. How would F-14 vs F-14 look? It is not really that suprising the Tomcat was retired in 2006.


Originally posted by kilcoo316
Unless of course, they realise that the performance difference between the Iranian F-14 and the USAF F-15/F-16/F-18 is not near as big (if existent at all) as they'd like the public to think.


I think you hit the nail there. With AIM-120D modifications the Tomcat would down any of them. And as we all know, the Iranians have a penchant for back engineering and upgrade.



posted on Jul, 3 2007 @ 10:44 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
Is it not implying a severe lack of confidence of the replacement if the Pentagon feels they have to destroy the replaced aircraft?


No, why would we want to willingly allow Iran to continue keeping their F-14 air worthy by using smuggled parts from our decommissioned fleet? They are not only a threat to us but their neighbors, we should be doing everything we can to reduce their ability to wage war.


Originally posted by kilcoo316
That is certainly the first thing that I read into it.


Probably because that is what you wanted to read from the beginning...


Originally posted by kilcoo316
Unless of course, they realise that the performance difference between the Iranian F-14...


Needless to say Iranian F-14's would make no difference against a combined USN - USAF air war against Iran.



posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 04:06 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
No, why would we want to willingly allow Iran to continue keeping their F-14 air worthy by using smuggled parts from our decommissioned fleet? They are not only a threat to us but their neighbors, we should be doing everything we can to reduce their ability to wage war.


I already said:

For morale purposes alone, the USN or USAF would love to beat up on the Iranian Airforces - but how will they do that if their fleets are grounded?






Originally posted by WestPoint23
Probably because that is what you wanted to read from the beginning...


Maybe.


Originally posted by WestPoint23
Needless to say Iranian F-14's would make no difference against a combined USN - USAF air war against Iran.


If that were the case, then why are they shredding all the old ones in the US?



posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 09:34 AM
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Originally posted by waynos
If that were the case, then why are they shredding all the old ones in the US?


Did you not read my post? It's not a matter of "oh we can't beat their Tomcats". It's just a good measure to take in order to reduce Iran's combat ability. In the end a country without an air force will not be as bold in making political decision likely to bring it conflict. I'm sure the US could decimate the Iranian air force via the old way but if you can do this way (by shredding old F-14's) why not?



posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 10:24 AM
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It would seem that they (US) got some credible evidence
that it may happen.
Its a shame to shread the mighty Tomcat but if u have to well....
Better to be safe than sorry



posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 10:27 AM
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Don't you think Iran could reverse engineer and figure out how to make their own components for their F-14s?



posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 12:49 PM
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They have done a bit of everything... locally manufacture specific parts, import foreign technology and even use system not originally intended for the Tomcat. However there is only so much you can do without the original tooling, know how and other classified information and materials. At some point however you cannot service the aircraft unless you can accept ridicules maintenance hours. And Iran cannot manufacture whole "new" F-14's so their options are limited.



posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 01:06 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
They have done a bit of everything... locally manufacture specific parts, import foreign technology and even use system not originally intended for the Tomcat. However there is only so much you can do without the original tooling, know how and other classified information and materials. At some point however you cannot service the aircraft unless you can accept ridicules maintenance hours. And Iran cannot manufacture whole "new" F-14's so their options are limited.


What do you think the chances are of them making a "knock-off" F-14? Would it break their bank, so to speak?



posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 03:30 PM
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No, Westy is right. You only have to look at the Azarkash, which is mainly F-5 based and even then is more 'disguised' than 'developed' to see that manufacturing something so much more complex like the F-14 is completely beyond them.

Specific parts perhaps, but complete airframe and systems? No chance.

[edit on 4-7-2007 by waynos]



posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 03:38 PM
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Originally posted by sy.gunson
So are any being preserved at all ?

It is a shame if some don't go to museums ?

I agree here, its the same thing with all these guns that the cops "confiscate" and just destroy. Meanwhile some of these guns date back to the late 1800s and should be donated to a museum rather then put into a crushing machine.

As for the Iranian F-14s, I highly doubt any of them have been in service for awhile now. Remember we have been pretty strict about spare parts being sold for some time now and all the Iranian F-14s date back to the Royal Iranian Air Force from the days of the Shah so I doubt they had enough spare parts for 30 years in 1979.

Dosent Libya and Venezuela also have/had the F-14?



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