Back in the 80's I was away jesting about the F-14 are here to protect the carriers and the carriers to deploy F-14.

I know there are a number of other aircraft here for other purposes but I really don't know the numbers.

So for 1981 what's the proportion of F-14 to other aircrafts and also de percentuals in roles (defence of the fleet, attack, surveillance, etc).

In other words: for US aircraft carriers of that period, what was the aircraft fleet composition?

  • $\begingroup$ Which ship or which class of ships are we talking about here? $\endgroup$ – user3528438 Jun 14 '18 at 19:34
  • $\begingroup$ @user3528438 All US aircraft carriers ships in service in 1981? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$ – jean Jun 14 '18 at 20:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This might be useful: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$ – Steve Jun 14 '18 at 22:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ F-14s were aboard all large deck carriers, except for the Midway class ships and the training carrier Lexington. $\endgroup$ – Carlo Felicione Jun 15 '18 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking about the Embarked Airwing, or about F-14's? $\endgroup$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 18 '18 at 21:47

During the plane’s heyday, the US Navy maintained 26 active duty F-14 squadrons for the 12 carriers certified for F-14 operations, 4 Test and Evaluation squadrons, 2 Fleet Replacement squadrons and 4 Naval Reserve squadrons. 632 F-14s were delivered to the US Navy between 1973 and 1994. Each Forrestal-, Kitty Hawk-, Enterprise-, Kennedy-, and Nimitz-Class carrier had two squadrons of F-14s aboard, with 12 aircraft per squadron. Depending on the cruise air wings aboard, there were approx 85 aircraft aboard ship. This sets the F-14s comprising about 28% of the air wing’s airframes.

The F-14 was used to provide air superiority in the airspace around the battlegroup as well as escorting strike packages and providing a first line of defense against long range enemy interceptors and cruise missiles. Later upgrades as well as the F-14D variant allow for precision strike capability against surface targets as well. The genesis of the AWG-9/AIM-54 weapons system was as a defense against TU-22s carrying Kitchen cruise missiles which had a very real chance of sinking a carrier if the missile found its mark. A secondary role was given to the F-14 in the early 80s as the primary tactical reconnaissance aircraft for the fleet, replacing the aging RA-5C Vigilante and RF-8 Crusader aircraft by means of a removable Tactical Aerial Reconnisance Pod System (TARPS) which mounted on the center body pylons for the AIM-54 missile. Later systems included ROVER pods for precision close air support.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Not doubting you, but some sources would turn an good answer into a great one. Also, the "TARPS which ovule Mount"... care to fix a typo or two there? $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Jun 15 '18 at 18:08
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This also doesn't show how these numbers compared to the total naval air fleet. $\endgroup$ – fooot Jun 16 '18 at 2:17
  • $\begingroup$ en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grumman_F-14_Tomcat $\endgroup$ – Carlo Felicione Jun 16 '18 at 3:31
  • $\begingroup$ Also Robinson, Anthony, US Air Power. $\endgroup$ – Carlo Felicione Jun 16 '18 at 3:37

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.