Grumpy Old Man
Verified Defense Pro
1) The F-14 has almost been phased out of operational existence, IIRC there is only one active squadron left. All others have been line replacedSalman78 said:F-14 is expensive cause its the only aircraft in the world which can carry the longest range active radar guided missile the AIM-54 pheonix which has no match. Also the F-14 D supertomact's "radar" has the ability to jam its oponent's radar. It carries a lot of fuel, missiles and is tasked with a very imp job of protecting the carrier so one can imagine the technology and power put into this huge machine. Not many fighter aircraft with such tremendous capabilities are available for carrier borne operations...
Recently F-14 has been transformed into an excellent strike and reconnaissance platform...
Aircraft prices depend on a lot of things. Isreal for example pays a lot less for what arab country's pay for the same equipment. Then there are offset deals which balance the final price so there r diff factors.
2) The Phoenix is almost acknowledged as being obsolete. It was designed to take out long range subsonic bombers at maximum distance - and in effect, it's job became considerably harder once the Blackjacks came into service. It was not designed for High G close combat manouvres so it would have struggled against a fast turning high speed foe.
3) No investments have been made in the last few years on the F-14 as the Super Hornet was designed to replace it. It has a high downtime compared to the aircraft repalcing it, and in some areas is less capable.
It was a good aircraft - but it's got more romantic attachment applied to it than any other USN aircraft - hence why there is still some mystical defence of it by advocates.
The prices quoted in the article are not realistic, as there is no common baseline applied to arrive at the figures. It would be almost impossible to do as well, as sunk prices have not been included, package purchases effect transactions and volume purchase will effect final figures. In some cases aircraft are part bartered against natural resources and are exchanged at the commodity rate for that period - not necessarily a reflection of true purchase worth. Some purchases are made on political requirements and as such the price is artificial and declared at varying rates for either domestic consumption or political imperative.
Take them all with a grain of salt.