After half a century, how many Iranian F-14 Tomcats are still flying?

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In the mid-1970s of the last century, the US sold the Iranian government a large number of F-14 Tomcat fighters, but the “times” then changed unexpectedly.

In the mid-1970s, when relations between the US and Iran were still very warm, Washington decided to export 80 of the most powerful F-14 Tomcat fighters at that time to a close ally.

However, the Islamic Revolution in Iran suddenly broke out, the Islamic State came to power and immediately considered the US as an enemy. The US listed Iran on the list of “state sponsors of terrorism”, however, at this time, 79 F-14 Tomcats have set foot in Iran. The US effort only succeeded in preventing the last F-14 shipment of the year from reaching Iran.

Immediately, a series of sanctions were launched by the US to punish the Islamic State of Iran. The concern of the US military at that time was that 79 F-14 Tomcat fighters, fully equipped with weapons, have been imported into the Iranian Islamic Air Force.

In all fairness, Iran’s 79 F-14 fighters are enough to repel all air strikes against this country. US military experts calculate that NATO and US air forces will suffer heavy losses if they want to gain air superiority in a war in Iran.

With 79 F-14 fighters at that time, the Iranian Air Force was considered the most powerful in the Middle East.

However, after half a century of embargo, this advantage of Iran has gradually disappeared, when currently the number of active F-14 Tomcat fighters in this country is estimated to be only about 24 unit.

This number was published by the US National Interest in 2019. Specifically, with 79 original Tomcats with the help of the Soviet Union in the past, Despite this, Iran managed to keep 24 F-14s in good operational shape on the payroll.

In addition to the previous Soviet support effort and Iran’s self-reliance, it is considered impossible to buy replacement parts for this F-14 Tomcat from abroad.

Despite the efforts of allied countries, the US still refused to export F-14s abroad, and completely destroyed its fleet of F-14s after being retired. This helps not a single piece of the F-14’s components, which can float outside the US territory, thereby indirectly finding its way to Iran.

With this somewhat extreme way, the US almost “destroyed” Iran’s entire F-14 fleet without spending a single bullet, the loss of a large number of F-14s in service due to lack of components. Also caused the power of the Iranian Air Force to be pulled back several notches.

According to documents made public by the US side, the last F-14 Tomcat in service with the US Air Force has been decommissioned since 2006. The US Air Force also confirmed, excluding 79 Tomcats exported to Iran in the past. , there are not any other F-14s exported by the US abroad.

And the fate of the proud F-14 Tomcats would have been extended, if the US did not “accidentally” export 79 units to Iran, but instead accepted to sell to its allies and other close friends in Europe in the past.

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