Video: Iranian F-14 Tomcats on combat patrol. Unarmed.

Update Mar. 27 09.40 GMT

This short but interesting video (which looks like the result of several footages mixed together) shows one of the most intruguing planes operating with the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force: the F-14 Tomcat.

Along with scenes seemingly excerpted from Top Gun movie, the video (most probably coming from from the Iranian TV series Shoghe Parvaz) shows some AIM-54 Phoenix air-to-air missiles, with several live examples being shown, even if the majority of the F-14s is filmed flying unarmed.

In case of war the IRIAF F-14s could play a (marginal) role perfoming some sortie aimed at disturbing the strike packages and make them waste some fuel.

Noteworthy, as could be noticed on a previously published video, the IRIAF F-14s fly without the IFR (In-Flight Refueling) probe cover because, as explained by Dario Leone, a reader of this blog and an F-14 expert, when they were produced and delivered to Iran they were supposed to be refueled by the U.S. KC-135s whose basket is different (and the cover could get jammed with it) from the ones used by the U.S. Navy S-3s or KA-6s.

For the same reason, during Desert Storm, the U.S. F-14s, that had to be refueled also by Air Force tankers flew without the cover.

There are also images dating back to the early 2000s of U.S. Navy F-14s flying without the cover. According to other sources since the “hatch” blocked quite frequently, especially during low temperature operations, it was removed to prevent it from making air-to-air refueling impossible.


Written with The Aviationist’s Editor David Cenciotti