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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Image credit: FARS News agency
H/T to user “ASFTD” on ACIG forum for the heads-up
Does anybody find it odd how filthy these aircraft are?
No. They’re old as anything, and they’re operating in a very hot desert environment.
Umm, much of Iran is temperate and sill much of the rest is actually cold.
Iran does have 2 deserts. One of them I believe is the hottest in the world. However, those are uninhabited zones and something like 80% of the population lives around the mountainous regions which are at a much higher elevation. They often use the deserts for military exercises, much as the United States does. So you may see a higher number of military photos in such an environment. But this is not standard across the country. Keep in mind that Iran shares the Caspian Sea with Russia.
Iran has got almost any whether available. for example, in some areas the temps might be +50 C and some places it might be +25 and some places -15 and all of them can be at the same time in different parts of the country.
Ever seen a combat aircraft up close after being in such a dusty environment? These aren’t corporate jets after all.
it ain’t a car show…:)
Isfahan’s Khatami AFB, it is — Not Mehrabad.
Does anybody know what nationals these F-14’s maintain and overhaul, on some pictures, they are clearly not Iranian nationals.
I guess that really just depends on what your assumptions are on the appearance of Iranians.
What exactly Iranians look like in your mind? these are typical Iranian faces. Have you ever met any in your life?
I recently saw a Tomcat at the Palm Springs Air Museum that appeared to be in better shape than that bucket of bolts ……
Yes most objects on display at Museums are in better aesthetic shape than ones being serviced in a greasy make-shift garage. :P
I guess opening stress panels when its on Jacks doesn’t mean anything to them. I seriously don’t think its FMC.