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

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

By Tom Cooper
Jan 17 2021
Share this article

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. Few words ‘on popular request’.

No, no Iranian F-14 was ever ‘given’ to the Soviets. 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.

VF-33 F-14A Print
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-14A Tomcat VF-33 Starfighters / Tarsiers , AB201 / 19428 / 1982

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.

(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.)

F-14 model
This Model is Available from AirModels! CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

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’.

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.

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.


Share this article

Tom Cooper

Tom Cooper

Tom Cooper, from Austria, is a military-aviation journalist and historian. Following a career in a worldwide transportation business — in which, during his extensive travels in Europe and the Middle East, he established excellent contacts — he moved into writing. An earlier fascination with post-Second World War military aviation has narrowed to focus on smaller air forces and conflicts, about which he has collected extensive archives of material. Concentrating primarily on air warfare that has previously received scant attention, he specializes in investigative research on little-known African and Arab air forces, as well as the Iranian Air Force. Cooper has published 21 books — including the unique Arab MiGs' series, which examines the deployment and service history of major Arab air forces in conflicts with Israel — as well as over 200 articles on related topics, providing a window into a number of previously unexamined yet fascinating conflicts and relevant developments.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this article


Share this article
Share this article

Always up to date! News and offers delivered directly to you!

Get the best aviation news, stories and features from The Aviation Geek Club in our newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox.



    Share this article
    Back to top