IRIAF fleet of F-14s is divided into two categories: ‘airworthy’ but with no operational AN/AWG-9 radars and weapons systems; and ‘fully mission capable’, most of which have operational avionics and are capable of undertaking all types of air defence missions
Called “Scary Iran Air Force Power 2018,” the video in this article provides an overview of Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) current composition.
According to the clip the service fields 752 aircraft (137 fighter aircraft, 137 attack aircraft) and its strength is estimated at around 37,000 personnel.
Among the fighters operated by the IRIAF there is the F-14 Tomcat of which, according the video, 24 examples are in service as of 2018. The number of F-14s currently in service with IRIAF is confirmed by “World Air Forces 2018,” Flightglobal Insight. 2018, Retrieved Apr. 2, 2018.
Retired by the U.S. Navy on Sep. 22, 2006 the iconic F-14 Tomcat remains the backbone of the Iranian interceptor fleet. As explained by Tom Cooper, Babak Taghvaee and Liam F. Devlin in their book IRIAF 2010: The Modern Iranian Air Force, due to the continuing lack of specific avionics components, the fleet of F-14s is divided into two categories: ‘parvazi’, meaning ‘airworthy’ but with no operational AN/AWG-9 radars and weapons systems; and ‘amaliyāti’, meaning ‘fully mission capable’, most of which have operational avionics and are considered capable of undertaking all types of air defence missions. The former aircraft are used for training of new pilots as well as for proficiency training, and have a secondary role as fighter-bombers equipped with general-purpose bombs and AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles in the case of a war.
Noteworthy along with the M61A1 Vulan 20mm internal cannon, AIM-54 Phoenix radar-guided long-range air-to-air missiles, AIM-7 Sparrow medium-range semi-active radar homing air-to-air missiles and AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missiles, Iranian Tomcats can be loaded also with the Fakour-90 air-to-air missile and MIM-23 Hawk surface-to-air-missiles (SAMs) used as air-to-air missiles.
The Fakour is a copy of the Hughes AIM-54 Phoenix missile that was sold together with the F-14 to Iran in the late 1970s.
The missile was developed by the Iranian Army, Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics, and IRIAF. In Oct. 2011, it was announced that the missile had reached the stage of mass production.