posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 06:27 PM
Originally posted by Luke.S
if the have any aim 54s left the f-14s can sit back and snipe the western planes.
The F-14 was the sniper of the skies
Eh, this is a "Yeah, but..." situation.
The F-14As were using an antiquated radar system based around the 8080/8086 microprocessor - 8-bit awesomeness, right there. Its TWS function was
really just a computer-predicted track based on each pan of the radar antenna.
This is what the Iranians have.
You also have to remember what the Aim-54 was intended to destroy - bombers and air-to-surface laden strike craft. In many ways - the Aim-54 was a
precursor to the AMRAAM, taking mid-course updates via datalink from the Track-While-Scan function before going to terminal active radar guidance.
Due to the slow speed of the Tomcat's updates - TWS is only going to be effective against aircraft limited to more predictable flight-paths (such as
bombers). This is one reason why the 54 was capable of being fitted with a nuclear warhead - their target being entire bomber groups instead of
Serious updates would be needed to the 54 to make it effective against fighters. The D model had some major avionics overhauls that were comparable
to the F-15E and made it capable of supporting more advanced missile and datalinking systems, but that's really not what Iran has.
It is not at all implausible for Iran to maintain the F-14 - though they would have the most trouble maintaining the engines and the airframe. The
antiquated radar could be serviced practically out of a well-equipped barn with a machine shop using civilian technology (actually, a trip to Radio
Shack could net you a serious upgrade to the avionics). But they would simply not be capable of competing with modern day designs.
That said - We are not invulnerable. The Aim-7 is a competent system, though it would require incompetence on our part to allow that system to be
Honestly, though - the Tomcat 21 proposals made by Northrop-Grumman were rather interesting and would have been an introduction of completely new
airframes and avionics suites that would have turned the tomcat into a strike-interceptor (something the Navy could really use for missions similar to
the F-15E) with supercruise capabilities.
But Iran wouldn't have anything like that no matter what they did to their existing F-14 fleet.