Nearly? Than you don't need a tissue Junior
F-14 was a cool plane, but kinda old and big. I was working at an auto shop on Miramar Dr., back when TG was at Miramar in the 90's. Anyway, these two plane's are coming straight down Miramar dr.(like 3ft apart), the little plane(don't know what kind) hooked a 180(like quick), the F-14 tried and just swung so wide........like a semi truck, the other plane was gone! The F-14 was still trying to turn around to chase..... I was just like, that was awesome
Guess it is time now for change..............
What you saw was an A-4 against a tomcat....
and while the A-4 would have killed it in manueverability in close, you must also realize that with the targeting rader and Phoenix missles that the Tomcat carried, the A-4 would not have gotten within 50 miles of the Tomcat without finding itself soinning in little peices into the ocean.
Add in the fact that Tomcats generally worked in conjunction with AEGIS equipped crusiers and you can extend that radar lock out to over 150 miles.....
the 18, 16, and even the air superiority version fo the 15 had, have, and will never have that kind of range.
the reason the 18 is now the preferred weapon for the navy has less to do with the maintenance time/costs than it does to do with the overall adaptability of the platform.
the f?A-18 was designed from the start to be a dual role platform. supporting both air supperiority and attack missions. The f-14 was designed with one thing in mind......killing other planes.
just like the f-111 before it, the f-18 was designed to be a decent killing of airborne vehicles, and to deliver a bomb load in a precision guided environment. It was desinged to be more on the fighter side than the f-111 and also to deliver lighter bomb loads. It has done well at both missions and excelled at neither.
it is a multi-purpose plan designed for the current incarnation of "warfare" versus a previous version.
todays aircraft must function in multiple roles to be accepted as modern airforces have continually shrunk in size.
its no different than getting a Chevy avalanche instead of a Suburban or a Pickup truck.
It will function capably in either role, yet will not function in either role as well as the more specialized vehicle.
one of the other reasons for the demise of the Tomcat, is that the Department of the navy no longer wishes to pay the millions of dollars required to keep the AIM-154 Phoenix in production. Currently, only the Tomcat is using this missle, and while it is an outstanding long range standoff weapon, its use in the modern battlefield is becoming more and more limited and relegating it to a more and more narrow window of use.
add it all up, and the Tomcat did its intended job, argueably better than all but a select few aircraft (SR-71, F-15E, B-17) have in the history of aviation.