Photos of World’s last active service F-14 Tomcat jets overhauled in Iran

The Iranian Air Force is the last operator of the legendary F-14 Tomcat.

The photos in this article were recently released by FARS News Agency.

They show some Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force F-14 Tomcat jets be overhauled at an unspecified location (Tehran Mehrabad International Airport according to some sources).

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Iran still operates some Tomcats that are being modernized to F-14AM (“Modernized”) standard to extend their operative life until 2030. Domestic upgrades include avionics (radar and RWR) and weapons: R-73E, AIM-54A, AIM-7E and AIM-9J are among the air-to-air missiles adapted to the aircraft’s fire control system.

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The Iranian Tomcats can also carry the AIM-54A+ “Fakour-90” missile: a domestically upgraded, partially reverse engineered version of the famous AIM-54 Phoenix long range missile of the U.S. Navy F-14s.

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The IRIAF F-14s are also being given a three-tone Asian Minor II camouflage pattern loosely resembling the “splintered” one adopted by Russian 4th and 5th generation fighter planes and U.S. Aggressors.

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Tehran is believed to operate a fleet of about 60 F-14s even if the number of combat capable aircraft is unknown. According to some rumors, there would be plans to use the Tomcat in the air-to-ground role as well.

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Anyway, in some way or another one Tehran managed to keep the F-14s airworthy, a significant achievement considered the embargo on Iran and the consequent lack of spare parts for the Tomcats.

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F-14 IRIAF overhauled top

Image credit: FARS News agency

H/T to user “ASFTD” on ACIG forum for the heads-up


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Just stop “against the wind” you’re making yourself look idiotic. No one quite yet knows the limits of technology, including jet technology. Just when we think we can’t push the Jet Engine further we do. The F-35 is direct evidence of that.

    • Believe me F-35 is a turkey in the sky. An L band radar from 1940s with long wave length can detect it. Stealth is built for short frequency radars. F-35 is slow and very un-maneuverable. The small wings were place on the plane to make it easy for vertical take off. Small wings reduces maneuverability due to low lift during turns. Of course trust vectoring might compensate to some extent but wings are way too small. F-16 would run circles around this plane. The center section is way too big to accommodate center port for vertical take off which causes drag reducing range and agility. Using an L band radar you can see F-35. Once you can see this slow turkey, it is toast. S 300 and later version of SAM system by Russia can find these turkeys. Of course frequencies for
      Russian system are known and F-35 can jam them If the adversary changes the frequency enough that F-35 could not provide the electronic counter measure it will be detected long before it enters the combat zone.

  2. the tomcat has superior pitch authority, like the su-27. There literally isn’t a plane in this world that can upstage the f-14 tomcat. It is a monster of capability.

  3. Now get photos of the helos that were abandoned at Desert One, which the Iranian Navy pressed into service and – last I heard – were still flying.

  4. During my U.S. Navy career, I spent A LOT of time either in the Indian Ocean or the Arabian Gulf (the U.S. military no longer calls it the Persian Gulf). We used to have overflights of Iranian F-14s on our ships, but no further ones that I am aware of, just before I retired from the Navy in 2006. When we still had F-14s onboard the aircraft carriers I was assigned to, there would always be six or seven drip pans underneath each F-14 parked in the hangar bays undergoing maintenance. It was said, if an F-14 was not leaking hydraulic fluid, there was something wrong with it. The last U.S. Navy F-14 flew in September 2006. It certainly was time for it to be retired. It would be beyond herculean for the Iranians to still have F-14s flying in 2018. It is very noteworthy that you see pictures in this article of F-14s on the ground, but none in flight. Nor do you know when those pictures were taken.

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