Thursday, August 16, 2007

Iranian F-14 Tomcats Are Back

Jane Defense Weekly reported in its 15 August edition that the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) has returned to service three more F-14A Tomcat interceptor aircraft within the last four months (IRIAF F-14A pictured here - MEHR).

During the last years of the Shah, Iran received 79 F-14A. In the last few years Iran has started an aggressive program to overhaul and upgrade some 57 F-14A. The return of the first three upgraded aircraft is the result of that program.

The US Navy retired its fleet of F-14 Tomcat in September 2006. The US government has been determined not to let the Iranians smuggle aircraft parts, including a plan to blow up the retired Tomcat fleet. IRIAF, however, has apparently been successful to perform field and line maintenance on the aircraft and refurbish them. The major overhaul includes replacement of major fatigue parts and changes to the AWCS on-board weapon control system.

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