The end of the F-14 Tomcat

I wonder how long before one shows up on eBay…

Sad to see it go, but as our resident expert once stated it cost a hell of a lot more to maintain.

And it was entirely un-natural to see an air defense fighter go on bombing runs. Definitely not what I would have signed up for if I were a Tomcat pilot in the 90s :)

— Alan


Nice to see that the Guv’ment is replacing a totally old and outclassed plane with a slightly less old and outclassed plane.

Now THAT’S progress!

Its about time. I hated working on those fuckers.

And to think your Russian counterparts simply had to turn up sober to work with a spanner. That must hurt.

Didn’t we have this discussion before, about whether the Phoenix was actually a useful air superiority missile since the Tomcat was its only platform?

Time to get rid of those old fashioned helly-coppers too. We have just the right thing!

Really expensive, dangerous and unproven. But it’ll be carrying Marines and those guys are tough motherfuckers!

God Bless the USA! This is what happens when you design a military vehicle by committee. If the average pencil was designed this way it would cost $35.00 and write most of the time… but sometimes it would shatter driving splinters into your thumb and index finger.

Yikes someone with some issues.

— Alan

Outclassed by which combat-tested naval aircraft?

It’s not like we’re going to be seeing Eurofighters taking on Super Hornets anytime soon.

Thank you for your opinion, Mr. Helper.

Too bad it’s wrong. On both counts.


Last I read, China had ONE Mig 29 squadron that could be active if the button were pressed. N Korea has some older Migs.

Why do we need to be spending all this money on air superiority again? How much does each JSF and F-22 cost again?

Send up Predator drones with long range million dollar AA missles (like the Phoenix . . . I don’t know what the newer version would be), and be done with it. Air superiority with half the cost.

On a semi-related note, there used to be this ad for a defense contractor that had the main gun of a destroyer pointed at the camera, all “in ya face”. It had the phrase “This is what littoral domiance looks like” in big bold letter on it. This ad was right by the entrance to the Capitol South metro station, so all the commuters could go Google “littoral” when they got to the office, I guess. I always had the overwhelming urge to carry a magic marker in my pocket and add a big “C” on it.

Man, that woulda been funny.

Send up Predator drones with long range million dollar AA missles (like the Phoenix . . . I don’t know what the newer version would be), and be done with it. Air superiority with half the cost.


Well the LCS (Littoral Combat Ship) stuff is what the Navy has been pushing on for years now and it’s very much the next big ship program (following the CVX) that will work hand-in-hand with the other next generation ship program, the DD-21. They use “littoral” everywhere so it kind of makes sense they push it in advertising, which usually show up during very important times in program funding. They just start laying down the DD-21’s now and the LCS’ will start up soon. Next big ship program after that is the CG-X.

As for Predators with decent AA-capacity… please. That’s not going to happen for a long, long time, for various reasons.

It’s always important to remain technologically ahead of any opponent in the war game. China has a lot of aircraft, just because you have one active MiG-29 squadron doesn’t mean you don’t have an active air capacity.

— Alan

I enjoyed reading about the F-22 schooling F-15s. The plane’s a beaut.

I don’t think air superiority will ever cease to be a vital part of strategy. The real gains in military dominance over the past 15-20 years have come from communications systems and real-time intelligence.

For example, what’s often overlooked about our recent invasion of Iraq is that the Iraqi military really was as well-prepared and well-armed as any army we’ve ever faced. They knew we were coming, they knew where we were going, and they knew how we had to get there, and they were armed to the teeth through the oil-for-bomb^H^H^H^Hfood program. But it was pointless, because we knew about their movements as soon as they made them, and were able to react and adjust within minutes. It’s one thing to have the information, and an entirely different thing to be able to respond to it as quickly as you obtain it.

Did you know that this was the first military effort in US history where the armed forces worked in concert, rather than separately?

Against small disparate groups like al-Qaeda, communications and specialized soliders will be the key. But that doesn’t mean we won’t need air and sea superiority; you still have to have a way to insert your special forces into any place at any time.

I have no idea what this means really. In WW2, the Army and Navy had to work together in concert for Normandy. In a more specific context, Patton personally called in destroyer fire support against a German tank counterattack against his beachhead in Sicily. In Vietnam close-air support was frequently a joint-forces concept. On a general level yes you might be able to say this up through the Cold War, as each branch of the armed forces believed they alone would win the next war.

Now you can say, possibly with Iraq, differing armed forces have never been more intertwined in the age of network-centric warfare.

— Alan

The F-15 is really old too. F-14s were first deployed in 1972. The first F-15s, in 1974.

The first F-117s were deployed in 1982, and those first generation stealth fighters have already been retired.

Now that the F-22 is operational and in production they might as well get built. Goodness knows they are going to have to last for the next 50 years.

Already have a supposed fully operation squadron in fact…

— Alan

Took them a while to get it right.

The most publicized example of the difficulties of operating heavy and medium bombers in support of ground forces came during the preparatory bombardment for Operation Cobra, the breakthrough attack at Saint-Lo that led to the breakout across France. The Cobra strikes killed slightly over 100 GIs and wounded about 500. Without a doubt, the strikes were badly executed, and serious command errors were made.