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Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Just hit the dash, that'll stop the rattle"

Most of you would recognize the Grumman F-14 Tomcat as the big plane that Tom Cruise flew in 'Top Gun', but what you might not know is that only one other country bought the F-14 for it's armed forces, and that country was Iran.

Pause for irony . . .

. . . carry on.

The Nirouyeh Havaiyeh Shahanshahiye Iran, or Imperial Iranian Air Force bought 80 F-14A's and began to take delivery in 1977. This lucrative contract was worth approximately $300 million to Grumman, and helped save the entire F-14 programme from being cancelled.
Following the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, the US decided to impose an embargo upon Iran, holding back on all deliveries of parts, spares, and also the 80th and final F-14 itself.

Fast forward to 2008, and Iran is alone in continuing to use the F-14, the US having retired the aircraft in March of 2006, so this means that the Iranians have continued to keep their fleet operational from 1977 onwards with no access to parts and spares.
I can only assume that these once formidable air-superiority fighters are currently held together with copious amounts of Duct Tape, Hubba Bubba, and Pritt Stick!

You could probably take one out with an air rifle!

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