On a serious note, we ought to buy 50 of them NOW, with spares, and stick them in storage so that we can get them out to cover the inevitable capability gap when we get the carriers and JCA is delayed.
If we don't, some damn fool will start trying to attach a hook to the back of the Eurofighter.
On a personal note:
My first shipboard injury came from a close encounter with an F-14:
I ran across the deck behind one just as the pilot bumped the throttles to taxi onto cat-2. Went sliding down the deck on my can, and ended up wrapped around the nose gear of an E-2C taxiing behind.
My a** looked like a roadmap of Texas for a week!
At least the US Navy still has a good carrierborne fighter in the Super Hornet - therefore no loss of capability. Unlike us who have no such capability until the arrival (when?) of the new carriers and JSF/JCA/F35.
SDR said we needed the Sea Harrier. When the Sea Harrier was axed the Government said the loss would be mitigated by ....
Ship based defences (reduced due to cuts in ship numbers and maintenance.
The Type 45 Destroyer (delayed and numbers cut from twelve to eight - since the last two have not been ordered it is possible that only six will be built).
The new carriers coming into service with aircraft in 2012 and 2015 (not been ordered yet).
Allied nations providing air defence - but HMG forgot to consult any allies, the US have expressed concerns.
RAF fighters based ashore - but numbers cut and commited already.
Apparently the Rag 'eads are still flying theres, read something recently where it is thought only 20 - 25 are "S". Though they believe they have not been able to keep the Pheonix up and running. Part of the blame for this actually goes to the Yanks themselves as it is thought they got a load of spares from the Iran/Contras debacle, then they started to reverse engineer aload of other stuff.
The Iranians used their F-14s quite successfully during their little disagreement with Saddam. They're known to have shot down a number of Iraqi aircraft.
As Insp_Wexford says, the Iranians received F-14 spares from the Iran Contra affair, espionage (there was at least one case of US citizens being charged with appropriating spares for onward transmission to Iran and the suspicion was that this wasn't the only incident) and allegedly from the Israelis (support mainly for the F-4 Phantom and the AIM-7, apparently). They've even gone as far as trying to fit the F-14 with converted HAWK SAMs as a Phoenix replacement, although this trial was apparently less than successful.
One is twin seat, one is single, one is a naval machine one isn't, one has swing wings, one doesn't. One featured in top gun, one didn't, one had its final flight recentley one didnt, one is powered by pair of Pratt & Whitney F401-PW-400 engines, one isn't
They are nothing like, its like saying 'Does a dinghy lipped soap dodger look like Ivan Drago'
Didn't the F401s not come in till later? But how ever I did not know that the F15 was the sole property of the USAF, thanks for your useful input, although I was looking for something more along the lines...
The F-14 airframe has very impressive high alpha capabilities and low speed handling characteristics, it was the first high AoA able fighter. Or that the swing wings mentioned mean that the F-14 could manover better at low speeds. But again intresting to learn that the F15 was a single seater.