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giles

AIM loadout for the F-14A' first combat sortie

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Yep.

Thanks. It's always great to have confirmation by someone who actually was there.

Was the combo of 4x2x2 - 4x AIM-7 under the fuselage, 2x AIM-9 and 2x AIM-54 on the wing pylons - a possible (or even legal) load as well?

Cheers,

Andre

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Giles

Don't know if you have had this answered yet, but heres a list from >> GONAVY <<

Thanks Andy!

I got the number sorted out already.

Giles

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Putting a Sparrow on the aft station was legal and we did it all the time during Desert Storm, we flew 3x2x2 during the war.

Reddog

Reddog,

Is this configuration 1 x AIM-7 (one in the aft tunnel), 2x AIM-9 (on the wing pylons) and 0 x AIM-54 (empty forward launch pallets) possible ??

Giles

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No, in order for the Phoenixs on the wing to function you had to have Weapons Rails (called Phoenix pallets here) on the belly and what was called an mbilical bridge attached to the aft end of those rails. The right Phoenix Fairing supplied the coolant for the missiles, belly and wings and the umbilical bridges acted as an extention cord to the wings.

Now you could load the plane that way, but there was no way that those Phoenixs where going to work and you could not luanch them.

HTH

Reddog

Ok just so I understand it right, if one wants a late Tomcat loadout with a Phoenix on a shoulder pylon you MUST have the forward pallets installed, even if it is being used as a bomb pallet. I am thinking of the sidewinders on the normal locations, a LANTIRN and a Phoenix on the lower shoulder mounts and then bombs in the tunnel.

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There is a photo of the deck of the Enterprise 13 March 1975 in the "History of US Naval Airpower." (At least 20 years out of print...).

VF-2 Tomcat on the cat, several others from VF-1 and VF-2. The VF-2 has 2 AIM-9D or G (as Joe says, can't really tell) on the left glove pylons, can't see the other side. The Phoenix pallets are installed but empty. Can't tell if anything else is loaded. There is another VF-2 Tomcat visible in the photo that does have a Phoenix loaded.

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There is a photo of the deck of the Enterprise 13 March 1975 in the "History of US Naval Airpower." (At least 20 years out of print...).

VF-2 Tomcat on the cat, several others from VF-1 and VF-2. The VF-2 has 2 AIM-9D or G (as Joe says, can't really tell) on the left glove pylons, can't see the other side. The Phoenix pallets are installed but empty. Can't tell if anything else is loaded. There is another VF-2 Tomcat visible in the photo that does have a Phoenix loaded.

Thank you Reddog and Red_Baron_13 !

I have also seen a similar photo from early 1975 of a Tomcat loaded with 2 AIM-9s on the left shoulder pylon. I assume the other side was similarly configured. The forward Phoenix launch pallets were installed but empty. I could not make out whether there was any Sparrow loaded - the aft missile tunnel looked empty.

As of this moment, my hunch (really just an IMHO thing) is that the first CAPs (before the actual evacuation day and possibly earlier in the day on 25th April) may have been flown with 4 X AIM-9, and quite possibly with 2 X AIM-9, 2 X AIM-7. As the threat situation becomes clearer (and as night falls on 25th April), the loadout may have been reduced to 2 X AIM-9 to give greater loiter time over Saigon.

Phoenix may have been actually loaded on an alert a/c on deck but I doubt (again strictly an IMHO thing) they were ever flown over Saigon. Most probable scenario is that an alert a/c was on deck just in case a Bear gets too curious. I don't think NAVF had anything they could put in the air that requires an AIM-54 :cheers:

Giles

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My guess is that they would have carried Sparrows and possibly Phoenixs. It's not the threat itself, it's how far out do you want to swack the bad guy. If you are covering the helos you don't want anyone getting any closer then possible, so you can take them out at 75 mile with a Phoenix, 20 miles with a Sparrow or mix it up with them with a Sidewinder. I would think they would want all three so they could start knocking anything down at long range and isntead letting them get close and possibly hurting the helos. At least have the Sparrow and Sidewinders, they don't really cut into the fuel that much plus there would be tankers on station at all times.

The Phoenix wasn't just to knock down bears, it was to reach out and touch you before you even knew what hit you.

Just my thoughts.

Reddog

Reddog, thanks for your imput!

You raised a valid point.

I am tending towards (as if I were the CAG... but let's play along anyway) either 2x2 or just winders (may be late in the day when it is clear that NVAF will not come to the party).

The reason for leaving out the Phoenix is not so much threat, fuel nor personal preference. It is politics! I think we forgot the Rules of Engagement during the Vietnam conflict. The need for visual ID probably made the Phoenix as good as a million dollar brick. The Sparrow would probably be marginal at best even with the new EO chin pod. I think Sparrows were carried by at least some of the Cats that flew CAP. Therefore, the winders were probably the preferred war shots. And, I am sure the gatling is loaded!

Giles

Edited by giles

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No, in order for the Phoenixs on the wing to function you had to have Weapons Rails (called Phoenix pallets here) on the belly and what was called an mbilical bridge attached to the aft end of those rails.

Thanks! That will save me from a potential booboo.

Would 4xAIM-7 under the fuselage and 2x AIM-9/7 on the wings be a legal or actual load? I've got a lot of Tomcat models, and I'd like to have as much variaty weaponwise as possible...

It is politics! (...)The need for visual ID probably made the Phoenix as good as a million dollar brick.

Perhaps another point of view on this: it is not very costeffective to shoot a really expensive Phoenix at a cheap Chinese MiG-17, -19 or -21 knockoff.

Cheers,

Andre

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Perhaps another point of view on this: it is not very costeffective to shoot a really expensive Phoenix at a cheap Chinese MiG-17, -19 or -21 knockoff.

Andre,

I don't know of any fighter pilot that planned to consider the cost; they used whatever weapon gave them the best chance for a kill. If the authorities didn't like it, they could bill me for it later, and at least I would be around to pay the tab.

Regards,

Murph

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Andre,

I don't know of any fighter pilot that planned to consider the cost; they used whatever weapon gave them the best chance for a kill. If the authorities didn't like it, they could bill me for it later, and at least I would be around to pay the tab.

Of course. But the bean counters would probably have a say about the number of missiles available to the aircrew, especially on a boat.

Cheers,

Andre

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Okay, a few points and answer some quetions.

Great post and interesting points, thanks.

Cheers,

Andre

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Of course. But the bean counters would probably have a say about the number of missiles available to the aircrew, especially on a boat.

Cheers,

Andre

Andre,

Since Reddog answered for operations on the boat, in the USAF what weapons are carried/used are determined at the wing and squadron level, primarily by the weapons officers (Weapon School graduates), who are invariably captains and majors. Their primary consideration is weapon effectiveness, the secondary one is weapon availability (how many do you have?).

Regards,

Murph

Edited by Murph

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Since Reddog answered for opeartions on the boat, in the USAF what weapons are carried/used are determind at the wing and squadron level, primarily by the weapons officers (Weapon School graduates), who are invariably captains and majors.

Nice addition, thanks.

The WO's would be operational pilots themselves, I gather?

Cheers,

Andre

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The WO's would be operational pilots themselves, I gather?

Andre, that is correct.

Regards,

Murph

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Yes, in order to have a Phoenix on the wing you must have the rails on the forward belly.

If bomb rails are installed you are good to go, the bomb rails still had the plumbing for the coolant. In order to have a Phoenix on the wing work, you had to have any rail installed on the belly. The right rail had the phoenix pump but you also had to install the left one for aerodynamics. Also, a little know technical fact, if you have a Phoenix on the wing, you have to have an umbilical bridge installed right behind the weapons rails on the side you have the Phoenix loaded, with out it you are not going to get coolant or electrical power to the wing, even with the rail installed.

HTH

Reddog

This is true for the AIM-54A, but you could load AIM-54C on the wing without the rail on the belly, because the AIM-54C did away with the need for coolant. But that came much later than the period that we are talking about.

F-14Dmissiles.jpg

Edited by Rocky

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Of course. But the bean counters would probably have a say about the number of missiles available to the aircrew, especially on a boat.

Cheers,

Andre

Don't recall bean counters on the boat. If there were any they were kept way below deck.

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Reddog- Know you've done this many times cause I sure did. Remember loading AIM-54's and 20 mike mike where deck edge air didn't work?

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