As part of many date-less nights I am now able to present for your review, the specifications of the Primary Air Defense fighter of the Alaskan Military. The F-14 Tomcat....unoffically called the Arcticcat in spite of the snowmachine makers complaints about it's trademark
Photo © Chris Muir
F-14AK at ADF base Annette Island. This is the primary air intercept station in southeast Alaska
Just a bit of history, The F-14 was introduced into Alaskan service in 1987. The aircraft differed only in detail from it's USN and IIAF brethren. In 1992 it was decided to upgrade the aircraft to the F-14AK standard. This modification is similar the USN conversion of F-14A's to F-14D standard. The main differences in the versions is the replacement of the TF-30 engines with the F-110, a degraded F-14D AN/APG-71 radar replaces the AN/AWG-9 radar and with several other digital systems from the F-14D are also used on the F-14AK. Capability to use the TARPS recon pod was also added to the design as the Mirage IIIR aircraft was due to be retired.
Photo © Gerry Clarke
F-14AK makes a high speed base over an overcast sky at ADF base King Salmon.
One difference from the F-14A+/B/D and the Ak versions is the choice of the ADF to install the Zvezda K36D ejection seats into the aircraft instead of the original Martin Baker MK-GRU-7A seats and the NACES seat used on the Dog models. The choice of the Russian seats was partially dictated by the 1990 introduction of the MIG-29A aircraft also uses the K36D seat. This will mean that only two ejection seas will be supported by the ADF once the OA-37 is retired. The K36D and the Escapac seat used on the A-4E/M Skyhawk aircraft.
Photo © Ian Woodcock
F-14AK in landing configuration at ADF Kodiak. Old Colors
Also the Arcticcat can be called the prototype of the "Bombcat". The Alaska Defense Forces specified a ground mission for the aircraft. Using the lantern targeting pod to direct laser guided munitions. Ability to use the JDAM GPS munitions will come later. The aircraft can operate the Skipper missile. The aircraft is also wired for the Alarm anti radar missile system.
Photo © Engelen Frederik
Bombcat over ADF base Kodiak. Note the Lantrin pod under the starboard wing
Also air-to-air weapons fit is different then the US Navy. The ADF never fielded the AIM-54 phoenix missile or the AIM-7 Sparrow. The British Sky Flash Missile is used instead. The F-14AK also fields the IAI Python IV missile in lieu of the AIM-9 Sidewinder.
Photo © Corey Robinson
F-14Ak departs a cloudy ADF Kodiak showing it's afterburners for good effect
Since these aircraft are not subjected to the extreme stresses of carrier operations, an service life in excess of 10,000 airframe hours is expected.