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Interesting Iranian Tomcat documentary [with subtitles].

This is a discussion on Interesting Iranian Tomcat documentary [with subtitles]. within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Cames across this very interesting two part video on Iranian Tomcat operations during the war with Iraq. Has interviews with ...


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Old November 5th, 2012   #1
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Interesting Iranian Tomcat documentary [with subtitles].

Cames across this very interesting two part video on Iranian Tomcat operations during the war with Iraq. Has interviews with former Tomcat pilots and Tom Cooper [who co-authored 'Iran/Iran War In The Air' with Farzad Bishop]. In the video, it is mentioned that the Phoenix missile hits its target from on top - I had no idea this was the case! A little known fact, which is mentioned in 'Iran/Iran War In The Air' is that the Shah played a huge role in the Tomcat programme not being shelved as he provided some loans to Grumman after Congress slashed its funding for the programme. The book also mentions how the Mullahs had planned on selling the Tomcats prior to Saddam launching his war on Iran. As events were to later prove, the Tomcat/Phoenix combination, together with pilots who were trained by the U.S. - including some who were in jail when the war started - was a decisive factor in preventing the Iraqis from gaining control of the skies.

Press TV's Documentary-Tomcat Fights: Vigorous Iranian pilots' skill and valor-Part 1 - YouTube

Tomcat Fights: Vigorous Iranian pilots' skill and valor-Part 2 - YouTube

Are there any online sources that provide an accurate figure as to the number of Tomcats that are still operated?

Also, in the video the launch button for the Phoenix is shown mounted on the instruments panel. Was there a seperate button to launch the Phoenix and was the Sidewinder fired from a button mounted on the 'stick'?
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Old November 5th, 2012   #2
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In the video, it is mentioned that the Phoenix missile hits its target from on top - I had no idea this was the case!
If I remember correctly, on launch the Phoenix first climbs to a very high altitude (up to 100,000 feet) before diving on the target - I assume this is a factor in the missile's tremendous range?
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Old November 6th, 2012   #3
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If I remember correctly, on launch the Phoenix first climbs to a very high altitude (up to 100,000 feet) before diving on the target - I assume this is a factor in the missile's tremendous range?
That and it's bloody huge rocket motor...

The Phoenix missiles had a ballistic trajectory to help achieve an incredible range, along with the range that came from being a massive overall missile. They were intended for dropping down upon massed bomber formations at extended ranges...

Not so good against small agile fighters...
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Old November 6th, 2012   #4
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The book also mentions how the Mullahs had planned on selling the Tomcats prior to Saddam launching his war on Iran.
They were almost sold to the Canadians at a heavy discount. However when it was revealed the Canadian embassy was hiding American officials the deal fell through.
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Old November 6th, 2012   #5
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If I remember correctly, on launch the Phoenix first climbs to a very high altitude (up to 100,000 feet) before diving on the target - I assume this is a factor in the missile's tremendous range?
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That and it's bloody huge rocket motor...
Does the same apply to the AA-9 Amos?

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They were almost sold to the Canadians at a heavy discount.
Thanks for mentioning it, I had no idea.

Came across these Grumman videos.

1970's Iran F14 Tomcat introduction Part 1 - YouTube

1970's Iran F14 Tomcat introduction Part 2 - YouTube

1970's Iran F14 Tomcat introduction Part 3 - YouTube

What was the main reason that the F-14 didn't find any other takers apart from the USN and the Iranian Air Force - was it due to its price tag or due to other reasons? I would imagine that the F-14 would have been suitable for countries like Australia, Canada and Japan, all of whom have a large land mass to defend and a very long coastline. In the case of Britain, wouldn't the F-14 [on paper] have been a more suitable platform for intercepting Soviet bombers over the North Sea than the ADV?
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Old November 7th, 2012   #6
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Thanks for the video links guy, all of them are interesting,

I really wonder what would be the Iranian Air Force would look like if it didnt have the revolution. If I remember correctly already they had F-14s, F-4 and F-5s all numbering around 450 and they had orders for 160 F-16s as well as they were considering F-18s.
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Old November 7th, 2012   #7
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Thanks for the video links guy, all of them are interesting,

I really wonder what would be the Iranian Air Force would look like if it didnt have the revolution. If I remember correctly already they had F-14s, F-4 and F-5s all numbering around 450 and they had orders for 160 F-16s as well as they were considering F-18s.
The heavy assistance they were receiving from the US the Iranian would have been equal to Israelis Air Force during the 80's. The deals that was on board was some good deals with the purchase for the F-16's they would receive training for the maintainance crew. The Iranian had US Generals in Iran during the 70's right before the Shah left and the Iranian Pasadans tookover the embassy a U.S. Air Force General left the country notice it was a U.S. Air Force General. The extend of the aid the US was giving to Iran is still not know the fullest during the 70's. During that time US had secret plan for Iran to counter USSR. Overall the US see it was in it's interest to help built the Iranian Air Force during the 70's.

Nice video thanks for the video @ sturm. first hand knowledge from Iranian pilots of the issue they face.
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Old November 7th, 2012   #8
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The heavy assistance they were receiving from the US the Iranian would have been equal to Israelis Air Force during the 80's. The deals that was on board was some good deals with the purchase for the F-16's they would receive training for the maintainance crew. The Iranian had US Generals in Iran during the 70's right before the Shah left and the Iranian Pasadans tookover the embassy U.S. Air Force General left the country notice it was a Air Force General. The extend of the aid the US was giving to Iran is still not know the fullest during the 70's. During that time US had secret plan for Iran to counter USSR. Overall the US see it was in it's interest to help built the Iranian Air Force during the 70's.

Nice video thanks for the video @ sturm. first hand knowledge from Iranian pilots of the issue they face.
it's not difficult for me to imagine some dystopic alternate history where the Islamic Revolution never happened, Iran further developed into a US ally and for some ridiculous reason the Iran-Iraq war still happens albeit as the next Korean or Vietnam proxy war between the Soviets and the US though in a more horrific and costly way than what we actually got

still I think we can all agree to the resolve and ingenuity of the pilots to operate a platform they had little training on and the maintainers to keep them in the air after being grounded for so long with little in the way of parts and spares. Credit where credit is due regardless of one's views on the matter
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Old November 7th, 2012   #9
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still I think we can all agree to the resolve and ingenuity of the pilots to operate a platform they had little training on and the maintainers to keep them in the air after being grounded for so long with little in the way of parts and spares. Credit where credit is due regardless of one's views on the matter
An advantage the Iranian Air Force had was that when Saddam invaded, it already had a sizeable cadre of trained Tomcat pilots and ground crew, the problem was that when the war started many Tomcat pilots were in jail or had fled Iran. Another problem is that although the Iranians had a huge stockpile of spares for their U.S made aircraft, the access codes were kept by the U.S. advisors. The Iranian's only managed to crack the codes much later. Unfortunately, due to a lack of information, we have no way of knowing how many Tomcats are still operational or even what missiles they are armed with. It is known however, that due to a shortage of Phoenix missiles and the fact that whatever stocks were left had time expired, the Iranians did integrate Hawks onto their Tomcats [photos appeared in Air Forces Monthly some years back] - presumably these were Hawks that were supplied by Israel.

For those interested in the subject, I really recommend Tom Cooper's and Farzad Bishop's book - Iran/Iraq Air War. After reading the book, I developed a deep respect for the Iranian pilots, they faced an Iraqi air force that was not subject to any arms embargoes and had no difficulty in obtaining the latest French and Soviet gear [and later benefited from U.S supplied satelitte imagery and warning of Iranian air raids from USN vessels in the Gulf], yet the Iranian's more than held their own for the sake of their country.

Last edited by STURM; November 7th, 2012 at 03:19 PM.
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Old November 7th, 2012   #10
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Does the same apply to the AA-9 Amos?



Thanks for mentioning it, I had no idea.

Came across these Grumman videos.

1970's Iran F14 Tomcat introduction Part 1 - YouTube


1970's Iran F14 Tomcat introduction Part 2 - YouTube


1970's Iran F14 Tomcat introduction Part 3 - YouTube


What was the main reason that the F-14 didn't find any other takers apart from the USN and the Iranian Air Force - was it due to its price tag or due to other reasons? I would imagine that the F-14 would have been suitable for countries like Australia, Canada and Japan, all of whom have a large land mass to defend and a very long coastline. In the case of Britain, wouldn't the F-14 [on paper] have been a more suitable platform for intercepting Soviet bombers over the North Sea than the ADV?
Both the f14 and f15 were both evaluated by the raf for their new fighter requirement back in the 70,s but were both discounted.
The f14 was deemed too expensive when supplied with its full awg-9 weapons system and no use without it....
The f15 was seen as better suited to the fighter v fighter and it's radar at the time was classed as limited for the intended role.a two seater was also preferred...hence the long legged tornado f3 which was in fact perfect for the role( eventuly,after many radar and software upgrades anyway)
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Old November 8th, 2012   #11
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During that time US had secret plan for Iran to counter USSR.
Nice video thanks for the video @ sturm. first hand knowledge from Iranian pilots of the issue they face.
Do you think USSR was a real threat to Iran, 1979 they invaded Afghanistan but do you think you would have gone for Iran as well?

F-14's would be suitable for intercepting any bombers or any other attack aircraft, but would the F-4s and F-16s ( if purchased ) would have been enough to confront land forces?
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Old November 8th, 2012   #12
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I'll see if I can find the source but I remember reading the Iranians were mostly interested in the F-14 as a counter to the Mig-25. I remember reading the Iranians were having a problem with recon over flights and wanted a deterrent.
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Old November 8th, 2012   #13
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It looks like the Iranian AF could do with a little more target practice. Scorecard:
Predator - 1
Iranian Su25s - 0
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Old November 9th, 2012   #14
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I'll see if I can find the source but I remember reading the Iranians were mostly interested in the F-14 as a counter to the Mig-25. I remember reading the Iranians were having a problem with recon over flights and wanted a deterrent.
Yes, Soviet Foxbat's flying over Iran from bases in Central Asia were a major cause of concern for the Iranians - especially after it was found that their HAWKs couldn't hit the Foxbats at the altitudes they were flying - and was one reason they got the Tomcats.


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Do you think USSR was a real threat to Iran, 1979 they invaded Afghanistan but do you think you would have gone for Iran as well?
What we do know is that there were genuine fears that the Soviets could cross the Zagros mountains and head south to the Gulf, whether they actually had plans in place remains unknown. If I recall correctly, fears that the Soviets would make such a move was one of the reasons the Americans formed the RDF. Sometime in the late 1970's an Iranian Chinook was shot down near the border, stuff like that made the Shah very nervous.

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It looks like the Iranian AF could do with a little more target practice. Scorecard:
Predator - 1
Iranian Su25s - 0
And what has that got to do with the price of beans? This thread is about Iranian Tomcats....

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Old November 10th, 2012   #15
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Do you think USSR was a real threat to Iran, 1979 they invaded Afghanistan but do you think you would have gone for Iran as well?

F-14's would be suitable for intercepting any bombers or any other attack aircraft, but would the F-4s and F-16s ( if purchased ) would have been enough to confront land forces?
You must remember that the Soviets invaded Afghanistan to help out the Communist Party. If Iran didn't armed it forces with American equipment during the 70's the Soviets could have invaded Iran. The Soviets already invaded Iran in 1914 with the British and again in 1941. Having 160 F-16's is more than enough to handle an attack from Soviets in the 80's. The Iranian Military during the Iraq and Iran War show sign of modern warfare with it Army units which carry out air assualt type missions. The problem at that time the Mullah didn't trust the Iranian Army so they created the Revoluntary Guards Corps which was a counter to the Army. The morale of Iranian Army went down during this time as the Mullah weed out who with them or not. The Iranian Army senior command was not trusted by the Mullahs or guardian of the Revoluntion. The training by the Iranian was well establish by the American advisors during exercises held in 1975. Sadden Hussein knew that the Iranian Army and Air force was being destroyed by the Mullahs as they weeds out who with them or against them. The Imans knew nothing about military operations. With the type of equipment and training the Iranian had before the revoluntion they was top of line military. The Iranian had US military training manuals during the 70's. The Iranian Air Force was in line to be top Air Force in that area only one that was the best in the area was Israel Air Force. The Iranian had the Oil and the required skilled manpower to support a modern Air Force during that time.
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