F-14 TOMCAT Vs F-15 EAGLE: The U.S. navy F-14 Tomcat and the U.S. Airforce F-15 Eagle are two of the best fighters jets ever built.
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is an American supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, twin-tail, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle is an American twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter aircraft.
Until today a real F-14 Vs F-15 (Tomcat Vs Eagle) engagement with live weapons fired has never taken place but since the prototypes made their first flights the comparisons have been made between these two iconic aircraft.
The F-15 and the F-14 were built for totally different operational requirements, hence the two fighters could be more or less effective in the different missions they could have performed because of their respective strength and limitations.
For instance, the F-14 was the best aircraft to defend U.S. Navy aircraft carriers against a multiple target engagement. In fact thanks to its beyond visual range (BVR) capabilities and assisted by E-2C Hawkeyes, the Tomcat could inflict severe losses to an incoming enemy bomber’s formation.
On the contrary, in a Force Protection / Escort mission, where the fighters cannot commit on hostile until they were within 20 miles, the F-15 good maneuverability was needed to better face enemy aircraft.
So to the question to which was the better fighter? F-14 or F-15
While the F-15 has a solid 105-0-0 combat record, the F-14 has a highly argued combat record, with the vast majority of its kills from the Iranians against older, outdated planes (primarily MiG-21/23s and Mirage F.1s).
The F-15 is a phenomenal 4th generation air-to-air air aircraft. In a 1 v 1 WVR (Within Visual Range) fight there are few aircraft that can compete with it. On a multi-aircraft 2 v 2 BVR (Beyond Visual Range) while the F-15 is still good, I would give the advantage to the F-14 with a better weapons system, AIM-54 missile, and a dedicated backseater to run the system.
Both aircraft are very fast, the F-15 with a better high altitude turn capability and thrust to weight, and the F-14 generally a little better at the lower altitude and slower speed. So, who is better?
As I said it depends on all those other variables from pilot skill, tactics, environment, starting position, ROE (Rules Of Engagement), distance to home, other systems in the area, fuel, and weapons load to name a few.
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