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Interesting F-14 Article From Long Island Media...  
User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5869 times:

Two F-14's made their last flights at the former Long Island plant where they were originally built about a couple of weeks ago, and I find the authors comments given her relationship to the program about the F-14 interesting, even if not entirely accurate.

It's just so sad to see the majority of the population never realize just who was responsible for it's demise, and how it never should have been able to happen. Cheney had an axe to grind and to this day he has never been held accountable for the cancellation of a program that was funded and approved by Congress, wanted by the US Navy, and in full rate production. My question still remains: how could one guy named DICK get away with going against so many checks and balances and how could the Super Hornet mafia get away with bypassing Congressional approval for the entirely new platform?

The F-14 will forever be known as the greatest plane that never really was.

Quote:

F-14s' symbolic last flight prematurely ends Grumman years of building, designing and flying warplanes

BY KATURIA D'AMATO
Katuria D'Amato is a trustee of the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport in Farmingdale

June 13, 2006

On Thursday, two Grumman F-14 Tomcats will take their final victory lap across the skies of Long Island, where they were conceived and built, landing at the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport in East Farmingdale, so that the public may inspect these aircraft one last time.

F-14s will leave America's arsenal as iconic aircraft that not only defended our fleet during the height of the Cold War but changed aerial warfare by being able to use their sophisticated radar to kill a half-dozen enemy targets at once.

With its huge swing wings and angular fuselage, the F-14 became the poster child of what a lethal supersonic fighter should look like. Its starring role in the Hollywood movie "Top Gun" only added to its popularity. Now, after decades of accolades, the Tomcat is being retired from service.

There was a time when the Tomcat defined Long Island. Some 8,000 Long Islanders worked directly on the aircraft, and thousands more supplied various subcomponents. Everyone knew someone who was involved with Grumman Aerospace Corp., which was manufacturing not only the F-14 but its aircraft carrier "stablemate," the A-6 Intruder bomber. Military acceptance tests were regularly flown off Long Island's coast, bringing a knowing look to those whose windows would rattle from the sound of the engines at full throttle.

When virtually every other Long Island aircraft manufacturing company had closed its doors in the early 1980s, Grumman soldiered on, putting the region's considerable intellectual capacity to work on behalf of the nation's defense. It was a rock-solid base for the region's economy, and any number of families had a third-generation member working at Grumman.

Then, the world fell in about 1990. The F-14 became the victim of a Washington ambush launched by now long-retired Pentagon brass and congressional critics. Embarrassed over the debacle of a failed stealth fighter design built by a Grumman competitor, Congress decided to build a Super Hornet F-18 rather than upgrade the clearly capable Tomcat.

The F-18 didn't have the range of the Tomcat. It couldn't launch half a dozen missiles at once to protect against Soviet bombers. It didn't have the endurance to fly patrols keeping enemy aircraft far from our carriers. In short, it was barely half a Tomcat.

A filibuster, led by then-Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, now my husband, sought to derail the strategy of killing Long Island's Tomcat production. In the end, there was a compromise extending Tomcat production for a year but effectively preordaining the aircraft's premature retirement.

Like other companies dealing with a cutback in defense spending, Grumman needed to merge; in 1994 it joined with the capable Northrop Corp. Manufacturing of the F-14 was halted, and Grumman was told to shut down the A-6 production line at Calverton as well. With that announcement, the final curtain came down on aircraft manufacturing in the region after nearly 75 continuous years of Long Islanders designing, building and flying fighters and bombers. The legacy was enormous, but so was the loss.

Without a manufacturing base to generate the repair kits needed to keep the Tomcat flying, their last carrier tour has been completed, and the remaining 22 F-14s left flying are heading for museums or the scrap yard. Curiously, the last days of this incredible plane come at a time when emerging military powers are beginning to flex their muscles on the Asian mainland, and few can predict where the next nuclear threat will come from.

Although profoundly changed, the Island's defense industry didn't disappear altogether with the loss of the F-14. Today there is a score of firms manufacturing hardware for the large defense companies. Northrop Grumman still has a presence in Bethpage, and its engineers are credited with being some of the most creative in the industry, producing electronics critical to a new generation of aircraft. Yet, more than a decade after the Tomcat's fate was decreed, Americans have an obligation to hear and heed the lessons of Long Island's enormously successful F-14 and how congressional action can destroy an effective weapons system. If they do, they may also want to ask whether the Tomcats now being sent to museums can still be returned to flight.
Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.

http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/...story?coll=ny-viewpoints-headlines

[Edited 2006-06-25 05:23:17]

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5847 times:

Maybe Congress should have been strapped down a-la 'A Clockwork Orange' for a few thousand viewings of Top Gun?

User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5789 times:

How could the SECDEF say the F-14 should have been axed - cancelled whilst in the midst of complete and full production of the F-14D, and leave the USAF F-15C's alive? They both were A/A only at the time, so where's the premise? How was the F-14 deemed worthless but the Eagle with value? Answer: political bureaucracy and downright illicit activity, that's how.

User currently offlineLumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 20
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5780 times:

Quote:
Then, the world fell in about 1990. The F-14 became the victim of a Washington ambush launched by now long-retired Pentagon brass and congressional critics.

You have to consider these actions in the context of the times. The Soviet empire was falling apart and the primary Navy mission changed from "The Maritime Stragegy" (i.e., sea control) to "From the Sea" (power projection ashore). Congress was starting to demand a "peace dividend". From the USN's perspective, there were sufficient airframes on hand to meet the all projected threats. The Clinton administration could have offered to keep the plant open with more F-14D production, but chose not to do so. I think a look back will vindicate the decisions made at the time.



"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
User currently offlineMissedApproach From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 713 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5684 times:

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 3):
Navy mission changed from "The Maritime Stragegy" (i.e., sea control) to "From the Sea" (power projection ashore). Congress was starting to demand a "peace dividend".

All correct, but one would think the better (& cheaper) choice, all things considered, would be to upgrade existing F-14s rather than procure new-build F-18E/F, not to mention associated development costs for the new airplane.
I believe there was a lot more going on here than just cost savings, some kind of political wheeling & dealing.



Can you hear me now?
User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5671 times:

Just wondering what's the diference in radar cross section between the Rhino and the 'cat?

User currently offlineDeltaDC9 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 2844 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5578 times:

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 2):
How was the F-14 deemed worthless but the Eagle with value?

Cost of operation, reliability, mission suitability, combat record, radar, weapons, other options.

Lots of reasons.

Quoting MissedApproach (Reply 4):
All correct, but one would think the better (& cheaper) choice, all things considered, would be to upgrade existing F-14s rather than procure new-build F-18E/F, not to mention associated development costs for the new airplane.

There is no conspiracy, the F-14 proved to be to expensive to fly. The F-18 is just a fraction of the cost to maintain, has better availability, and room for future growth. The F-35 also makes the F-14 bad when looking at cost/benifit.

Its mean time between failure is three times greater than any other Navy strike aircraft, and requires half the maintenance time. The engine on the Hornet is attached at only three points and can be directly removed without excessive dis assembly, diagnostics are far superior, and there is room for future growth with the digital multiplex avionics bus, FBW adds reliability, leading edge extensions add maneuverability, auto take off reduces catapult accidents, multi function displays allow easy role change, and on and on and on.

Acting like the SuperHornet is a POS just to pump up the F-14 is delusional. The Navy wants fighters in the air, not in the hanger.

The F-14 was a good plane 30 years ago and still competitive today, just like the F4U was 50 years ago and still useful 20 years later. Let it go guys, if it were a car, it would need historic plates.



Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5546 times:

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 6):
Quoting AirRyan (Reply 2):
How was the F-14 deemed worthless but the Eagle with value?

Cost of operation, reliability, mission suitability, combat record, radar, weapons, other options.

Lots of reasons.

Stop drinking the kool-aid - the only reason the Navy lost the F-14 was because SECDEF Cheney had a personal argument with Grumman execs. The Navy wanted the F-14D, Congress had approved the funds, and production was in full swing. I can reason why Cheney cut the V-22 as he did, but the point is there WAS no logical reason for cutting the F-14D shortly after Desert Storm. Hell, the AF screwed the F-14 personally when they denied a pair of Tomcats some Iraqi MiGs because they and the Navy were using different frequencies and the AWACS controller couldn't get ahold of the F-14 crews in time to tell them to turn off their powerful radars before the MiGs spotted them.

The F-14D was no more useless than the Air Force F-15C and in quite many areas, superior.

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 6):
Quoting MissedApproach (Reply 4):
All correct, but one would think the better (& cheaper) choice, all things considered, would be to upgrade existing F-14s rather than procure new-build F-18E/F, not to mention associated development costs for the new airplane.

There is no conspiracy, the F-14 proved to be to expensive to fly. The F-18 is just a fraction of the cost to maintain, has better availability, and room for future growth. The F-35 also makes the F-14 bad when looking at cost/benifit.

Yeah, and I'm sure that was why the Navy placed an order and Congress approved the funds for 392 F-14D's. Cheney axed the program in it's infancy that only allowed what, 37 new build F-14D's to be made. The only thing the F-14 proved was that it was combat proven.

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 6):
Its mean time between failure is three times greater than any other Navy strike aircraft, and requires half the maintenance time. The engine on the Hornet is attached at only three points and can be directly removed without excessive dis assembly, diagnostics are far superior, and there is room for future growth with the digital multiplex avionics bus, FBW adds reliability, leading edge extensions add maneuverability, auto take off reduces catapult accidents, multi function displays allow easy role change, and on and on and on.

Based upon that precedent, the USAF would have stopped flying F-15's when the F-16's came online, and the Marines would never even have developed their AV-8B - you have to remove the entire wing to get to that picky RR engine on the Harrier! It sounds like your joining the F-14 vs Super Hornet debate about 10 years too late, no offense but but your just spewing the Hornet mafia's propaganda.

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 6):
Acting like the SuperHornet is a POS just to pump up the F-14 is delusional. The Navy wants fighters in the air, not in the hanger.

The Navy had no problem keeping the F-14's stocked with spares as long as the line was open - when the program was killed in 1991 and the line closed, as with any platform mx got that much harder. How did the F-14 make it through the entire 1970 and 1980's if it was such a hangar queen?

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 6):
The F-14 was a good plane 30 years ago and still competitive today, just like the F4U was 50 years ago and still useful 20 years later. Let it go guys, if it were a car, it would need historic plates.

The point remains - the F-15C is every bit as useless today from everything to maintenance issues to antequated technology as is the F-14D and the only difference is that DICKcheney had an argument with Grumman and not McDD and that is where the disservice to the Nation lies.

In fact, the F-18E is every bit as capable as replacing USAF F-15C's for the very same reasons people say the SuperBug was worthy of replacing the F-14 - it's cheaper to maintain, more weapons hardpoints, A/G capability, better radar and avionics, more advanced cockpit, etc.


User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 5490 times:

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 6):
The engine on the Hornet is attached at only three points and can be directly removed without excessive dis assembly,

Guess how many points the engine is mounted to the airframe on the F-14? If you guessed three then you are correct. Engine removal on the F-14 is actually preety easy. What the makes it "difficult" is the Navy policy on keeping certain gear like the oil cooler, hyd pump, CSD/GEN, starter, rotary actuator, motive flow pump etc with the airframe. That's what ate up the hours on engine changes. In the commercial world gear like that stays with the engine. Saves time on the line.

[Edited 2006-06-27 01:28:20]

User currently offlineDeltaDC9 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 2844 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 5430 times:

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 8):
Guess how many points the engine is mounted to the airframe on the F-14?

The point Boeing is making there was not really in reference to the F-14, it is in reference to the A-6 which requires removal of the tail section I think.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 7):
In fact, the F-18E is every bit as capable as replacing USAF F-15C's for the very same reasons people say the SuperBug was worthy of replacing the F-14 - it's cheaper to maintain, more weapons hardpoints, A/G capability, better radar and avionics, more advanced cockpit, etc.

Who is arguing? Many believe that the Super Hornet should supplement the F-22.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 7):
The Navy had no problem keeping the F-14's stocked with spares as long as the line was open - when the program was killed in 1991 and the line closed, as with any platform mx got that much harder. How did the F-14 make it through the entire 1970 and 1980's if it was such a hangar queen?

The ratio of maintenance hours to flight hours was not acceptable. This is from a F-14 pilot who is a friend of mine who went on to be a carrier air wing commander on the Enterprise in the 80's, and the source of most of my knowledge on the subject. The biggest stressor of his career was how many Hornets stayed below every day.

I personally washed out due to health reasons, but was headed in the same direction. I do have personal knowledge on the subject and there is no bigger fan of the F-14 then me, but you have to be realistic. I went in wanting to fly the F-4 because it was such a hot rod, I had to let go of that too, but fly an F-18? Never gave it a thought. I am not happy with the replacement, but I understand the reasoning behind it. All I am doing is trying to help you guys understand it, not get you to like it.

Everything must come to an end, you guys are just to emotional, think about the people who actually touched those birds and still admit they are too long in the tooth.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 7):
Based upon that precedent, the USAF would have stopped flying F-15's when the F-16's came online, and the Marines would never even have developed their AV-8B - you have to remove the entire wing to get to that picky RR engine on the Harrier! It sounds like your joining the F-14 vs Super Hornet debate about 10 years too late, no offense but but your just spewing the Hornet mafia's propaganda.

The F-16 and F-15 are different planes for different missions, admittedly with a lot of crossover. Point being, air superiority fighters have their own role. And yes, based on that precedent the Air Force went with the F-16 so they could afford great numbers of fighters, because the cost of the big birds is just too high, and I dont mean purchase price. This is why the F-15 was produced in the hundreds and the F-16 in the thousands.

Also, what you seem to forget is that Air Force planes dont crash land every sortie, that is very very hard on the airframe.

BTW, offense taken, I am just stating facts from the horses mouth. What makes you think I dont love the F-14? I love 60's Corvettes too, but I drive a 21st century Vette for a reason.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 7):
Stop drinking the kool-aid - the only reason the Navy lost the F-14 was because SECDEF Cheney had a personal argument with Grumman execs

The only reason? And I am drinking Kool-aid?...whatever. It is intellectually dishonest to try blame one person for the demise of the F-14, the Navy was not Cheneys whipping boys, they were outgunned because the F-14 had problems, and matured too late. Too many flame outs, too many crashes, too many hours to maintain, too much down time, too many pilot deaths, the end of the cold war, and a cheaper replacement made defending the F-14 very hard.

Twice, while allowing film crews to make documentaries on carrier operations, they were able to film F-14s crashing into the sea. Twice. That is not good PR. Add to that the first woman F-14 pilot being killed in a famous incident right before landing due to mechanical failure, and the opponents just had too much ammo.

The Cold War was over, the Navy needed a few more F-14s because attrition was so high and they got them, the fact was there was no Soviet threat to our carriers any more. That was the main mission of the F-14, to intercept threats to the carriers. Now the Aegis missile cruisers take care of a lot of those duties. Things have changed. They didn't need 500 more F-14s, they wanted them.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 7):
The Navy wanted the F-14D, Congress had approved the funds, and production was in full swing.

And the Air Force wants more F-22s that we could possibly afford too, and hundreds of B-2s AFTER the cold war ended, how is that relevant? What the Navy wants and what the Navy needs are two very different things, that is why there is oversight.



Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 5390 times:

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 9):
The only reason? And I am drinking Kool-aid?...whatever. It is intellectually dishonest to try blame one person for the demise of the F-14, the Navy was not Cheneys whipping boys, they were outgunned because the F-14 had problems, and matured too late. Too many flame outs, too many crashes, too many hours to maintain, too much down time, too many pilot deaths, the end of the cold war, and a cheaper replacement made defending the F-14 very hard.

When it all came down to it, ultimately it was just one reason and how one man got away with what he did, that is where the "system" failed the taxpayer. Fair enough the F-14 had engine problems with their compressor stalls that took way too many aircrews lives - but that was all due to a budget cut decision back in the early 1970's and was resolved with the advent of the GE F-110 in the upgraded F-14B and new-build F-14D. Having chick pilots fly into the back of the carriers because they didn't have enough muscle to control the elder beasts didn't do the Tomcat any favors, either.

While Cheney may have been the executioner, but again fair enough I will grant you that Grumman brass and the Tomcat community were justly responsible for letting the program get to the point as to where it did in 1990-1. Grumman brass was too arrogant and the Tomcat community drug their feet too long before picking up the A/G role. Had any of those two factors not happened than Cheney may very well not have axed the program, who knows for sure? But make no bones about it, it was the Hornet mafia versus Grumman execs and the 'Cat community and they lost a battle of politics over the F-14 - but not any battle that included any plausible tangible factors. Many a Tomcat officer had their careers threatened/altered and many even retired over the issue, but the end result was still the same - the politics of the defense contractors at McDD beat out 75+ years of Grumman aircraft in the Navy.

If your argument in defense of the Cold War was truly the case, than what was the need for the Air Force to keep the F-15C's when they had cheaper F-16's who could do the same job and more? The Navy may have had Aegis, but the AF had AWACS and JSTARS. If I'm the SECDEF in 1990 how can I honestly justify the mission of the USAF F-15C over that of the Navy F-14D?

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 9):
And the Air Force wants more F-22s that we could possibly afford too, and hundreds of B-2s AFTER the cold war ended, how is that relevant? What the Navy wants and what the Navy needs are two very different things, that is why there is oversight.

And therein lies the premise of argument for every Tomcat fan - where was this oversight that failed to prevent Cheney from cancelling the F-14D program? The Navy wanted the F-14D, they went to Congress and asked for 392 new build aircraft and was given permission to award the contract to Grumman. So how does the SECDEF go against all of those people?


User currently offlineDeltaDC9 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 2844 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 5388 times:

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 10):
While Cheney may have been the executioner, but again fair enough I will grant you that Grumman brass and the Tomcat community were justly responsible for letting the program get to the point as to where it did in 1990-1. Grumman brass was too arrogant and the Tomcat community drug their feet too long before picking up the A/G role. Had any of those two factors not happened than Cheney may very well not have axed the program, who knows for sure? But make no bones about it, it was the Hornet mafia versus Grumman execs and the 'Cat community and they lost a battle of politics over the F-14 - but not any battle that included any plausible tangible factors. Many a Tomcat officer had their careers threatened/altered and many even retired over the issue, but the end result was still the same - the politics of the defense contractors at McDD beat out 75+ years of Grumman aircraft in the Navy.

I think we are more in agreement than you might think. The F-14 supporters just didnt have enough ammo and took to many hits.

If our system allowed the branches to buy whatever they wanted, we would have HUNDREDS of B-2s and a thousand F-22s. I think we agree that they must be held in check.

The Navy originally asked for over a thousand Super Hornets I believe, like a kid in a candy store with our money. Did we really need 2 wings of F-14s for every carrier at sea or not? How many times have we had even 6 carriers at sea at one time?

I honestly do not believe Cheney did a disservice to the taxpayers, and I do not believe the carriers are at greater risk either.

I also would have loved for the F-14 to be the big dog for another 20 years, but that job has been filled with a younger applicant at lower pay.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 10):
And therein lies the premise of argument for every Tomcat fan - where was this oversight that failed to prevent Cheney from cancelling the F-14D program? The Navy wanted the F-14D, they went to Congress and asked for 392 new build aircraft and was given permission to award the contract to Grumman. So how does the SECDEF go against all of those people?

Like I said, the people lobbying him for the axe had more ammo than the people lobying him to buy the new wings. Whos fault is that? I think you answered that.

Now, cancelling the F-14 A/B SLEP, THAT pissed me off.



Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7152 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5349 times:

Since the primary function of the F14 was air defence, talk of the Aegis equipped ships gets interesting. The Navy has already started retiring the Tico and supposedly replacing them with billion dollar Arleigh Burkes.
Here's my problem, I compare the Burkes and Tico to a pistol with 14 shots of 5.56mm ammo and an M-16 with the same ammo but a 35 round mag,
the Burkes don't carry near enough shots in this cheap missile environment, think cheap surface to surface missiles.

So the question for the Super Hornet is how fast off the deck, how fast to alititude, how far out at max power or afterburner, and does its radar allow air intercepts of incoming missiles? The philosophy for the F14 was to shoot the messenger, whats the philosophy of the Super Hornet? I accept / agree all the factors of efficiency and economics, but it is a warplane, is its primary function now geared towards peacetime activities, training etc?


User currently offlineDeltaDC9 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 2844 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5309 times:

Quoting Par13del (Reply 12):
is its primary function now geared towards peacetime activities, training etc?

Absolutely not, but the threat has changed, and surface ships are more capable in intercepting long range missiles, which are now the primary threat. The F-18 is more reliable, and easier to launch, but air to air missile interception is not its mission, or any other fighter for that matter.

The Tomcat was intended to speed out to intercept incoming planes before they are in firing range. Cruise missiles and other new threats have mitigated that mission somewhat, and surface to air missiles from cruisers and destroyers now play a much bigger role in battle group defense.

As far as I know, the F-18 can perform all the combat missions assigned to an acceptable level. The thing is, the modern day Navy missions tend to be air superiority, recon, or strike missions, not interception. The Super Hornet performs those missions very well, in fact the C/D Hornets did a pretty good job too.

I may be wrong, but that is how I understand it.



Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5263 times:

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 9):
The point Boeing is making there was not really in reference to the F-14, it is in reference to the A-6 which requires removal of the tail section I think.

You must thinking of the A-4, not the A-6. What I was pointing out that a lot of the features you mentioned about the F-18 could be found on the F-14D. Like programmable MFD's, digital avionics, plenty of room for growth etc. I've heard people talking about the maintenance man hours of the F-14 compared tot eh F/A-18E/F. It's a bit misleading to compare the two. A brand new airplane is going to require less maintenance than an older one. Remember, the newest F-14 in the fleet came of the production line in 1992. I was stationed at Miramar when the D's first showed up. They required a lot less maintenance than the A models I was working on. Now would a brand new F-14 need more maintenance than a new F-18? Yes it would by the very nature of it's complex flight control system.

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 11):
Now, cancelling the F-14 A/B SLEP, THAT pissed me off.

There was never a F-14A/B SLEP. There was the F-14D remanufacture program.


User currently offlineDeltaDC9 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 2844 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (8 years 2 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 5236 times:

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 14):
There was never a F-14A/B SLEP. There was the F-14D remanufacture program.

Actually there was, they converted many of the A models to D models, reinforcing the stress points, replacing the engines, and basically remanufacturing them. It was axed in 91 I think, not sure. The plan was to SLEP every A model Tomcat and give it LANTIRN at the same time, while at the same time produce more D models.

I distictly remember video of the first A model SLEP'd Tomcat launching with no flaps or afterburners.



Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 2 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 5234 times:

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 15):
Actually there was, they converted many of the A models to D models, reinforcing the stress points, replacing the engines, and basically remanufacturing them. It was axed in 91 I think, not sure. The plan was to SLEP every A model Tomcat and give it LANTIRN at the same time, while at the same time produce more D models.

I distictly remember video of the first A model SLEP'd Tomcat launching with no flaps or afterburners.

Otherwise known as the F-14D remanufacture program, it was never refered to as a SLEP program. The LANTIRN did not come around till after the F-14D program was cancelled.


User currently offlineDeltaDC9 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 2844 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (8 years 2 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5185 times:

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 16):
it was never refered to as a SLEP program

Not entirely correct.

http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/news/navywire/nwsa95/nwsa1229.txt

Key quote from Navy web site:

"the program's structural modifications will extend the service life of F-14s past the turn of the century."

When you modify the structure to extend its servioce life, how is it not a service life extention? Yes, they went beyond SLEP by adding many new features from the D program, but they were in fact SLEP'd and it was cut short. Without the SLEP the upgrades would not be worth it would they?

Entire quote:

Initiated in 1991, the program gives the aircraft multi-
mission capability and improves threat warning sensitivity and
threat processing and display capability. It also adds digital
architecture to accommodate new weapons, sensors and software.
In addition to the avionics upgrades, the program's structural modifications will extend the service life of F-14s past the turn of the century. The upgrades include:
-- A new mission computer featuring the standard Navy
airborne central processor (AYK-14). This allows for faster
software processing and provides robust digital interfaces.
-- Enhanced radar warning receiver system sensitivity.
-- Digital communications networks that upgrade avionics
communication from analog to digital.
-- A programmable multiple display group processor for
flexible display of electronic warfare and tactical data.
-- A programmable tactical information display.
-- A stores management system that enhances air-to-air and
air-to-ground capabilities.
-- A chaff dispensing system providing greater passive
electronic jamming against enemy radar.
In addition, the program modifies the radar intercept
officer cockpit controls and displays to increase situational
awareness. Further program modifications to the aircraft make it
possible to add advanced air-to-ground and air-to-air weapons
sensors. It will also be possible to add jamming pods to
increase survivability from enemy surface-to-air-missiles and
anti-aircraft artillery.
This is the first acquisition and design program totally
accomplished by Navy field activities. NADEP Norfolk and the
Naval Air Warfare Center, Point Mugu, Calif., completed the
systems engineering, integration, software design, vehicle design
and kit manufacturing.
NADEP Norfolk will upgrade ten additional F-14s before the
Depot's closure in September 1996.


Now, as for the Navy being against retireing the F-14, also not 100% correct:

“The F-14 isn’t getting chased out because it can’t keep up with the current fighters of the world,” .... “The reason is that our maintainers have to work two or three times as hard to get the jets ready to fly compared with the Hornet.” Lt. Chris Rattigan, pilot with VF-31

“It takes about three to four times more maintenance man-hours per flight hour to maintain than the newer Hornet,” .... “Retiring the extremely relevant but maintenance intensive Tomcat was a way to save the exhaustive efforts of our people and better spend their labors.”
“I will miss flying the Tomcat very much,” .... “Saying goodbye to the Tomcat will be like saying good-bye to an old friend, but in the best interest of our people, it must be done.” Cmdr. Richard LaBranche, VF-31 commanding officer.

BUT, they are not saying it was not doing the job:

“The F-14 may be old, but with all the upgrades, there isn’t anything out there tougher and more capable than the Tomcat,” Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class(AW) Michael Houlihan, of VF-31.

These guys were flying newer D models built in 1990, and were one of the last to retire their F-14s "VF-31 - The Last Cat Standing"

"With a more than 99 percent sortie completion rate and a 100 percent on-target rate when ordnance was expended during this, their final deployment, VF-31 is confident they sent the Tomcat out on a high note."

My whole point in this thread and others on the F-14 is that it was never a black and white issue, that Cheney was not 100% against the F-14 and the Navy was not 100% for it. The scales balanced a little bit in favor of getting rid of it, thats all.

Cant we just let her retire with dignity and stop all this crap?



Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
User currently offlineDeltaDC9 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 2844 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (8 years 2 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5185 times:

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 16):
it was never refered to as a SLEP program

Not entirely correct.

http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/news/navywire/nwsa95/nwsa1229.txt

Key quote from Navy web site:

"the program's structural modifications will extend the service life of F-14s past the turn of the century."

When you modify the structure to extend its service life, how is it not a service life extension? Yes, they went beyond SLEP by adding many new features from the D program, but they were in fact SLEP'd and it was cut short. Without the SLEP the upgrades would not be worth it would they?

Entire quote:

Initiated in 1991, the program gives the aircraft multi-
mission capability and improves threat warning sensitivity and
threat processing and display capability. It also adds digital
architecture to accommodate new weapons, sensors and software.
In addition to the avionics upgrades, the program's structural modifications will extend the service life of F-14s past the turn of the century. The upgrades include:
-- A new mission computer featuring the standard Navy
airborne central processor (AYK-14). This allows for faster
software processing and provides robust digital interfaces.
-- Enhanced radar warning receiver system sensitivity.
-- Digital communications networks that upgrade avionics
communication from analog to digital.
-- A programmable multiple display group processor for
flexible display of electronic warfare and tactical data.
-- A programmable tactical information display.
-- A stores management system that enhances air-to-air and
air-to-ground capabilities.
-- A chaff dispensing system providing greater passive
electronic jamming against enemy radar.
In addition, the program modifies the radar intercept
officer cockpit controls and displays to increase situational
awareness. Further program modifications to the aircraft make it
possible to add advanced air-to-ground and air-to-air weapons
sensors. It will also be possible to add jamming pods to
increase survivability from enemy surface-to-air-missiles and
anti-aircraft artillery.
This is the first acquisition and design program totally
accomplished by Navy field activities. NADEP Norfolk and the
Naval Air Warfare Center, Point Mugu, Calif., completed the
systems engineering, integration, software design, vehicle design
and kit manufacturing.
NADEP Norfolk will upgrade ten additional F-14s before the
Depot's closure in September 1996.


Now, as for the Navy being against retireing the F-14, also not 100% correct:

"The F-14 isn't getting chased out because it can't keep up with the current fighters of the world," .... "The reason is that our maintainers have to work two or three times as hard to get the jets ready to fly compared with the Hornet."

Lt. Chris Rattigan, pilot with VF-31

"It takes about three to four times more maintenance man-hours per flight hour to maintain than the newer Hornet," .... "Retiring the extremely relevant but maintenance intensive Tomcat was a way to save the exhaustive efforts of our people and better spend their labors."
"I will miss flying the Tomcat very much," .... "Saying goodbye to the Tomcat will be like saying good-bye to an old friend, but in the best interest of our people, it must be done."

Cmdr. Richard LaBranche, VF-31 commanding officer.

BUT, they are not saying it was not doing the job:

"The F-14 may be old, but with all the upgrades, there isn't anything out there tougher and more capable than the Tomcat,"

Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class(AW) Michael Houlihan, of VF-31.

These guys were flying newer D models built in 1990, and were one of the last to retire their F-14s "VF-31 - The Last Cat Standing".

"With a more than 99 percent sortie completion rate and a 100 percent on-target rate when ordnance was expended during this, their final deployment, VF-31 is confident they sent the Tomcat out on a high note."

My whole point in this thread and others on the F-14 is that it was never a black and white issue, that Cheney was not 100% against the F-14 and the Navy was not 100% for it. The scales balanced a little bit in favor of getting rid of it, thats all.

Cant we just let her retire with dignity and stop all this crap?



Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
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