Century Wings CW587571 US Navy Grumman F-14D Super Tomcat Fleet Defense Fighter - AD164, VF-101 "Grim Reapers", NAS Oceana, 2004 (1:72 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Built for speed and armed with ultra long-range weapons. It's no wonder that the F-14 Tomcat is the main defender of the US fleet. The Tomcat's AWG-9 radar has the ability to engage as many as six targets at once, which is the same number of targets that can be engaged by three F-18 Hornets. Additionally, it's Phoenix air-to-air missiles can kill hostile bombers 90 miles away -- before they can launch their attacks. With its distinctive swing-wings, which enables it to combine high-speed performance and supersonic maneuverability, the F-14 Tomcat is undeniably one of the world's true "Top Guns".
The final variant of the F-14 was the F-14D Super Tomcat. The F-14D variant was first delivered in 1991. The original TF-30 engines were replaced with GE F110-400 engines, similar to the F-14B. The F-14D also included newer digital avionics systems including a Glass cockpit and replaced the AWG-9 with the newer AN/APG-71 radar. Other systems included the Airborne Self Protection Jammer (ASPJ), Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS), SJU-17(V) Naval Aircrew Common Ejection Seats (NACES) and Infra-red search and track (IRST).
USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) is in the background.Although the F-14D was to be the definitive version of the Tomcat, not all fleet units received the D variant. In 1989, Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney refused to approve the purchase of any more F-14D model aircraft for $50 million each and pushed for a $25 million modernization of the F-14 fleet instead. Congress decided not to shut production down and funded 55 aircraft as part of a compromise. A total of 37 new aircraft were constructed and 18 F-14A were upgraded to D variants, designated F-14D(R) for rebuild. An upgrade to the F-14D's computer software to allow AIM-120 AMRAAM missile capability was planned but was later terminated.
While upgrades had kept the F-14 competitive with modern fighter aircraft technology, Cheney called the F-14 1960s technology. Despite some aggressive proposals from Grumman for a replacement, Cheney planned to replace the F-14 with a fighter that was not manufactured by Grumman. Cheney called the F-14 a "jobs program", and when the F-14 was canceled, an estimated 80,000 jobs of Grumman employees, subcontractors, or support personnel were affected. Starting in 2005, some F-14Ds received the ROVER III upgrade.
Pictured here is a stunning 1:72 scale diecast replica of a US Navy F-14D Tomcat flown by VF-101 "Grim Reapers", then stationed at NAS Oceana in 2004.
Wingspan: 7 inches
Length: 10.5 inches
Release Date: July 2007
Historical Account: "What Ye Sow, So Shall Ye Reep" - VF-101 "Grim Reapers" were the F-14 training unit of the United States Navy for all the east coast F-14's until the mid-1990s when the west coast training unit was disestablished and VF-101 became the sole F-14 training unit at Naval Air Station Oceana until disestablished in 2005.
The lineage of the present "Grim Reapers" squadron (which shares only the name with VF-10) goes back to May 1st, 1952, when VF-101 was commissioned at NAS Cecil Field.
VF-101 flew the FG1-D Corsair and participated in the Korean War and later in 1952 VF-101 received the jet powered F2H-1 Banshee and deployed to the Mediterranean Sea. In 1956 they transitioned to the F4D-1 Skyray, their first radar equipped aircraft.
In April 1958, VF-101 was merged with the Fleet All Weather Training Unit Atlantic and thus stopped being a deployable unit and began to train all weather fighter pilots on both the F4D-1 and the F3H-2 Demon.
In becoming part of the training structure, VF-101 became part of Readiness Attack Carrier Air Wing 4. In June 1960, VF-101 established Detachment A at NAS Oceana which where to operate the F4H-1 and later the F-4 Phantom.
At the end of 1962, the Skyray and the Demon had been phased out in favor of the F-4 and Detachment A was disestablished and the F-4 training moved to NAS Key West. On May 1st, 1966 a new detachment was formed at NAS Oceana which took over the training of replacement pilots and RIO's in the areas of aerial refuelling, carrier qualification and conventional weapons. The Key West unit concentrated on air-to-air combat, missile firing and radar intercept techniques. In August 1967 VF-101 introduced the second generation F-4, the F-4J, to squadron service. VF-101's administrative command, Readiness Attack Carrier Air Wing 4, was disestablished on June 1st, 1970, with VF-101 shifting control of Command Fleet Air Key West, but this moved lasted only a year, and the Grim Reapers moved from NAS Key West was completed with a detachment remaining at Key West. Their third change of control happened in July when they moved under the command of Commander Fighter Wing One at NAS Oceana.