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Saturday, January 7, 2012

F14 tomcat in the Gulf War

A Fighter Squadron 74 (VF-74) F-14A Tomcat aircraft taxis past three other Tomcats on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS SARATOGA (CV-60)

An F-14 Tomcat assigned to the "Swordsmen" of Fighter Squadron (VF) 32 launches off the number two steam powered catapult aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Currently, aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 embarked on Truman are providing close air support and conducting Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions in ongoing operations. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group and CVW-3 are currently on a regularly scheduled deployment in support of the global war on terrorism.

An AIM-54C Phoenix missile and two chaff and flare dispensers sit on skids beside a Fighter Squadron 103 (VF-103) F-14A Tomcat aircraft on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS SARATOGA (CV-60) during gulf war.

An F-14A Tomcat aircraft refuels from a U.S. Air Force KC-10A Extender aircraft as other Tomcats fly in formation, during Operation Desert Storm. Squadrons represented by the aircraft are, from foreground: Fighter Squadron 33 (VF-33), Fighter Squadron 84 (VF-84) and Fighter Squadron 14 (VF-14).
An underside view of a Fighter Squadron 41 (VF-41) F-14A Tomcat aircraft on a Combat Air Patrol (CAP) during gulf war. The aircraft is carrying four AIM-7 Sparrow missiles under its fuselage and two AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles on each wing pylon.

Three Fighter Squadron 32 (VF-32) F-14A Tomcat aircraft fly in formation over the desert during gulf war. VF-32 is based aboard the aircraft carrier USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV-67).

An F-14 Tomcat aircraft of Fighter Squadron 103 (VF-103) prepares for refueling during gulf war. The aircraft is armed with AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.

Action in Desert Storm--
As an air-to-air fighter, the F-14 did not get to see much of the Iraqi Air Force given their destruction and their desire not to fly.Fleet deliveries of Navy F-14D fighters began in March 1990, but the fighters did not have a defensive system to jam signals from radar-guided missiles homing in on the aircraft. F-14's were used to provide combat air patrols over attacking carrier based aircraft and their ships, an F-14A from VF-103 was shot down by an SA-2 surface-to-air missile while on an escort mission near Al Asad airbase in Iraq. A total of 4,124 sorties were flown by the 99 F-14 Tomcats deployed to the Gulf.for a total of 14,248 flight hours.

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