Soviets never received any (Iranian) Tomcat. But they published this F-14 “booklet” for their top fighter pilots.

Here’s how Soviets were able to publish this F-14 “booklet” for their top fighter pilots although Russia never received any (Iranian) Tomcat

By Tom Cooper
Jul 14 2023
Sponsored by: Helion & Company
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No Iranian F-14 was ever ‘given’ to the Soviets

No, no Iranian F-14 was ever ‘given’ to the Soviets. And no, the Soviets never made parts for TF-30 engines of Iranian F-14s, nor have they developed the Zaslon radar or the R-33 missile for their MiG-31 on basis of any kind of intelligence – from Iran. The Soviets were never left even anywhere close to any of Iranian F-14s.


It doesn’t matter who in the West has released any of such rumours, all are wrong. Similarly, all the photos purportedly ‘showing ex-Iranian F-14s undergoing testing (“against MiG-25s”) in the USSR’ – are fake.

Soviets never received any (Iranian) Tomcat. But they published this F-14 “booklet” for their top fighter pilots.

(Actually, if at all, then it was the details of the MiG-31, Zaslon and the R-33 that were revealed to the CIA – and then by Adolf Tolkachev, one of chief designers at what is nowadays Vympel institute, and that already in 1979, i.e. before the MiG-31 entered operational service in the USSR.)

Soviets published an F-14 “booklet”

The Soviets did not need to ‘steal’ or ‘get’ any Tomcats: obtaining quite good intel on the F-14 – from the USA – proved quite easy for the KGB. Perhaps ironically, the rest came from diverse of books. Gauging by specific illustrations in Soviet internal publications, they did make extensive use of Mike Spick’s ‘Modern Combat Aircraft: F-14’ (Salamander, London, 1983).

Already in the same year, the Soviet air force published a related booklet ‘Naval Fighter F-14 (US Navy)’ – see the attached scan. BTW, this was ‘nothing special’.

VF-84 F-14 print
This print is available in multiple sizes from – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-14A Tomcat VF-84 Jolly Rogers, AJ200 / 160393 / 1977

They’ve had such ‘tactical manuals’ for all other major types of Western aircraft, too – including F-4s, F-15s, F-16s, F-111s, E-2C, E-3A, even for the F-117A and the B-2A: arguably, only top-ranking fighter pilots were getting these to see (reason for this was the – ‘complex’ – training system for all their pilots), which is why they remain relatively unknown outside specific circles.

F-14 remains in in service with the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force

The US Navy retired the iconic Tomcat on Sep. 22, 2006 and today the F-14 remains in in service with the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF).

In January 2007, US 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 US F-14s were shredded to ensure that any parts could not be acquired.

Soviets never received any (Iranian) Tomcat. But they published this F-14 “booklet” for their top fighter pilots.

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 US deliver the 80th F-14 it had purchased in 1974, but delivery was denied after the Islamic Revolution.

More interesting F-14 stories written by The Aviation Geek Club contributor Tom Cooper are featured in Helion & Company In the Claws of the Tomcat.

VF-84 F-14
This model is available in multiple sizes from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

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Tom Cooper

Tom Cooper

Tom Cooper is an Austrian aerial warfare analyst and historian. Following a career in the worldwide transportation business – during which he established a network of contacts in the Middle East and Africa – he moved into narrow-focus analysis and writing on small, little-known air forces and conflicts, about which he has collected extensive archives. This has resulted in specialisation in Middle Eastern, African and Asian air forces. As well as authoring and co-authoring 560 books and over 1,000 articles, he has co-authored the Arab MiGs book series – a six-volume, in-depth analysis of the Arab air forces at war with Israel, in the 1955–73 period. Cooper has been working as editor of the five @War series since 2017.

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