The following gorgeous video shows a night scramble of a fully armed Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) F-14A Tomcat.
As you can see the several video clips show almost every air-to-air weapon carried by IRIAF F-14s.
Noteworthy along with the M61A1 Vulan 20mm internal cannon, AIM-54 Phoenix radar-guided long-range air-to-air missile, AIM-7 Sparrow medium-range semi-active radar homing air-to-air missile and AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missile, Iranian Tomcats can be loaded also with the Fakour-90 air-to-air missile and MIM-23 Hawk surface-to-air-missile (SAM) used as air-to-air missile.
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.
The IRIAF has experimented a number of MIM-23 Hawk missiles for carriage on F-14 Tomcat fighters in the air-to-air role under a program known as Sky Hawk in the 1980s. As explained by Tom Cooper and Farzad Bishop in their book Iranian F-14 Tomcat units in combat, project Sky Hawk was discontinued soon after the war with Iraq ended. According to former IRIAF officers, it was not particularly successful as the data-link between the AWG-9 radar and the missile proved too weak. The Hawk’s ability to convert radar signals from the AWG-9 was also criticised.
In January 2007, U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced that sales of spare F-14 parts would be suspended over concerns of the parts ending up in Iran and in Jul. 2007 the remaining U.S. F-14s were shredded to ensure that any parts could not be acquired.
However in Oct. 2010 IRIAF commander stated that his country was overhauling its F-14s and mentioned that Iran-made radar system had been installed on the fighter.
Moreover in the summer of 2010, Iran requested that the U.S. deliver the 80th F-14 it had purchased in 1974, but delivery was denied after the Islamic Revolution.
Photo credit: Fars News Agency via IRIAF-Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force Facebook page
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