A U.S. Navy F-14D conducts a mission over the Persian Gulf-region in 2005.
KA-6D Intruder of Attack Squadron 34 (VA-34 "Blue Blasters")
United States Navy A-7E from VA-146
A U.S. Navy F-14D conducts a mission over the Persian Gulf region in 2005.
KA-6D Intruder of Attack Squadron 34 (VA-34 "Blue Blasters")
United States Navy A-7E from VA-146
The F-111B was designed to fulfill the carrier-based interceptor role, but had weight and performance problems, and was not suited to the types of aerial combat that were predominant over Vietnam
YA2F-1 showing the original tilting tailpipes
The first A-7 mock-up in 1964
Grumman's VFX entry was designed around the TF30 engine, AWG-9 radar and AIM-54 missile intended for the F-111B; this eventually became the F-14A
An A-6E landing on the aircraft carrier USS America (CV-66), showing the split airbrakes on the tips of its left wing
VA-147 was the first operational USN A-7 squadron, in 1967.
VFA-143 "Pukin Dogs" F-14B and F/A-18E Super Hornet in 2005
An A-6E Intruder aircraft assigned to USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69).
Lynn Garrison in a Chance Vought F4U-7 Corsair leads A-7 Corsair IIs of VA-147, over NAS Lemoore, California on 7 July 1967 prior to the A-7's first deployment to Vietnam on USS Ranger. The A-7A "NE-300" is the aircraft of the Air Group Commander (CAG) of Attack Carrier Air Wing 2 (CVW-2).
An F-14D launching an AIM-7 Sparrow; a GBU-10 Paveway II is also carried.
S-3A Viking, A-6E Intruder, and an EA-6B Prowler aircraft are parked on the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) during a storm.
A-7Bs of CVW-16 on USS Ticonderoga in 1968
An F-14D(R) from VF-213 flying over Iraq on last Tomcat deployment with LANTIRN pod on starboard wing glove station and LGB underneath fuselage.
A U.S. Marine Corps A-6 Intruder destroyed by a rocket and mortar bombardment on Da Nang Air Base in 1968 during the Vietnam War
YA-7D-1-CV AF Serial No. 67-14582, the first USAF YA-7D, 2 May 1968. Note the Navy-style refueling probe (retracted beside the cockpit in the standard position, not the air test data probe on the nose cone, which is part of the flight testing equipment) and the modified Navy Bureau Number used as its USAF tail number.
F-14 Tomcat with wings in asymmetric sweep during testing for this possible in-flight malfunction
An A-6E Intruder prepares for launch aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65)
A-7D-7-CV Corsair IIs 70-0976, 70-0989 and 70-0970 of the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing in the skies over Southeast Asia. 976 and 989 were retired to AMARC in 1992, 970 is on permanent display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.
Rear view of the F-14 showing the area between the engine nacelles
A-6A of VMA (AW)-242 in 1975
3d TFS A-7D-10-CV Corsair II 71-0309 at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, 1973
An F-14D prepares to refuel with probe extended.
A-6B on the USS Saratoga (CV-60) in 1971
A VA-192 A-7E over Vietnam. This aircraft was lost on 2 November 1972.
F-14 with landing gear deployed
A-6C of VA-35 Black Panthers
A-7 Corsair II aircraft of the Iowa (IA) and South Dakota (SD) Air National Guard flying near RAF Waddington, UK. These aircraft were deployed to the United Kingdom from 21 August through 12 September 1979 for NATO operation CORNET Stallion
F-14 Tomcat carrying an AIM-120 AMRAAM during a 1982 test.
A KA-6D refueling an F-14A in 1987
A-7Es on USS Independence (CV-62) in 1983
Two Iranian Tomcats equipped with multiple missiles, circa 1986, in the midst of a project to adapt I-Hawk surface-to-air missiles for F-14s
An A-6E SWIP Intruder of VA-34 flying over Spain during Exercise Matador.
A-7E of VA-72 on USS America (CV-66) off Libya in April 1986.
An F-14A of VF-84 Jolly Rogers, in a 1970s color scheme
Final VA-34 A-6E SWIP Intruder launch from the flight deck of USS George Washington (CVN-73), 1996.
A-7E from VA-72 flying over the Saudi desert during Operation Desert Shield
An F-14A from VF-114 intercepting a Soviet Tu-95RT "Bear-D" maritime reconnaissance aircraft.
Norden AN/APQ-148 Radar
A-7D-5-CV AF Serial No. 69-6241 of the 4451st Test Squadron / 4450th Tactical Group at Nellis AFB, Nevada in 1984
An F-14A of VF-32 during Operation Desert Storm with a KC-135 Stratotanker and two EA-6B Prowlers in the background
A-6F prototype in 1987
EA-7L pilot LT Lori "Wrench" Melling (left) and ECMO LT Laura "Moose" Mason (right) of VAQ-34 at Elmendorf AFB, 1987
A Navy F-14D flying over the skies of Afghanistan on a precision bombing mission in November 2001.
US Marine Corps EA-6A Intruder electronics aircraft of VMCJ-2 Playboys aboard USS America in 1974 during a visit to Scotland.
Prototype YA-7Ds 67-14582 and 67-14584, along with 69-6191 and 69-6217 making last flyover retirement formation over Edwards AFB, California, heading to AMARC, August 1992
The last F-14 launch from a carrier, USS Theodore Roosevelt on 28 July 2006
A-6E Intruder of VA-52, 1981
A-7A of VA-203, the "Blue Dolphins", at NAS Jacksonville Florida in 1976
Iranian ace Jalil Zandi is credited with shooting down 11 Iraqi aircraft during the Iran–Iraq War, making him the highest scoring F-14 pilot.
A Grumman A-6 Intruder on display at Grumman Memorial Park
TA-7C of VA-174 in 1988
Formation flight of Iranian Tomcats, 2008
An A-6 Intruder on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center.
EA-7L of VAQ-34 in 1987
Close-up view of the distinctive afterburner petals of the GE F110 engine
An A-6F Intruder prototype on display at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, New York City
Greek Air Force LTV TA-7C Corsair II departs the Royal International Air Tattoo, UK, 2014
An upgraded F-14D(R) Tomcat with the ROVER transmit antenna circled with USS Theodore Roosevelt in the background
An A-6E Intruder on display at Patuxent River Naval Air Museum
A-7P of the Portuguese Air Force
Grumman's proposed F-14 Interceptor for USAF Aerospace Defense Command in 1972 with the simulated "Buzz Code" and Aerospace Defense Command livery and emblem on the tail
Orthographic projection of an A-6 Intruder
A Retired A-7E of the Royal Thai Navy in the Royal Thai Air Force Museum
F-14 Tomcat operators as of 2014 (former operators in red)
A-6 ordnance, 1962
Retired A-7 Corsair II in front of the Veterans' Museum in Halls, Tennessee
An IRIAF F-14 Tomcat landing at Mehrabad, Iran.
A-7D "Speedwell" at Wings Museum
F-14A Tomcat of NFWS (TOPGUN) NAS Miramar c. 1993
Two USANG Corsairs, a two-seat A-7K and a single-seat A-7D, 1988
Front view of an F-14A at Yokota Air Base, Tokyo, Japan, 2003
F-14A BuNo 162689 at the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, California, 2009
An F-14A on display at Grumman Memorial Park in New York
F-14A BuNo 160661 on display at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center's Aviation Challenge facility in Huntsville, Alabama, 2009
YF-14A at the Cradle of Aviation Museum
F-14B at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum
F-14A of VF-84 "Jolly Rogers" at the Museum of Flight
Grumman F-14 Tomcat drawings
F-14A of VF 111 "Sundowners" (USS Carl Vinson)
F-14B from the VF-211 Fighting Checkmates carrying six AIM-54 Phoenix missiles.
Tomcat logo

Thus, when the A-6E was scheduled for retirement, its precision strike mission was initially taken over by the Grumman F-14 Tomcat equipped with a LANTIRN pod.

- Grumman A-6 Intruder

The same engine had also powered several other combat aircraft of the era, including the General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark and early Grumman F-14 Tomcats.

- LTV A-7 Corsair II

In the 1990s, with the pending retirement of the Grumman A-6 Intruder, the F-14 air-to-ground program was resurrected.

- Grumman F-14 Tomcat

During Operation Desert Storm of the Gulf War, most air-to-ground missions were left to LTV A-7 Corsair II, A-6 Intruder and McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet squadrons, while the F-14s focused on air defense operations.

- Grumman F-14 Tomcat

On 4 December, one LTV A-7 Corsair II and one Intruder were downed by Syrian missiles.

- Grumman A-6 Intruder

An A-7 and an A-6 Intruder were shot down by Syrian surface-to-air missiles (SAM) on 4 December 1983.

- LTV A-7 Corsair II
A U.S. Navy F-14D conducts a mission over the Persian Gulf-region in 2005.

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A U.S. Navy F/A-18C in flight

McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet

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Twin-engine, supersonic, all-weather, carrier-capable, multirole combat jet, designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft .

Twin-engine, supersonic, all-weather, carrier-capable, multirole combat jet, designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft .

A U.S. Navy F/A-18C in flight
A U.S. Navy F/A-18C in flight
YF-16 and YF-17 prototypes being tested by the U.S. Air Force
The Northrop YF-17 Cobra was developed into the carrier-capable F/A-18.
First preproduction F-18A in October 1978
US Navy F/A-18C during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2002
F/A-18C Hornet performing a high-g pull-up. The high angle of attack causes powerful vortices to form at the leading edge extensions.
F/A-18C Hornet in transonic flight producing flow-induced vapor cone
Exhaust nozzles of an RAAF F/A-18
An F/A-18A Hornet from VFA-132 Privateers in flight, circa 1985
Blue Angels' No. 6 F/A-18A
NF101, an F/A-18A Hornet assigned to VFA-195 Dambusters aboard the USS Midway, CV-41 in the 1991 Gulf War.
F/A-18C of VFA-192 taking off from USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) in 2005
Three RAAF F/A-18As in 2013
Canadian CF-188A Hornet off Hawaii. Note the "false cockpit" on the underside of the aircraft for confusing enemy pilots during dogfights.
Finnish Air Force F/A-18 at Rissala Airport
An F/A-18 of the Kuwaiti Air Force
RMAF F/A-18D returning to base after a national day flypast
EF-18 A taking off and banking to the left on 2015
Hugo Wolf F/A-18C full-scale training simulator, X-5099
Swiss Air Force Hornet F/A-18C at RIAT 2019
An F/A-18B Hornet assigned to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School
A Marine F/A-18D of VMFAT-101 prepares for takeoff
A VFA-11 F/A-18F Super Hornet performing evasive maneuvers during an air power demonstration above USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75)
X-53, NASA's modified F/A-18
F/A-18C of the Swiss Air Force taxis for takeoff
F/A-18 operators are in blue
Royal Malaysian Air Force Boeing F/A-18 Hornet during Cope Taufan 2012
U.S. Navy F/A-18C from VFA-131 launches from French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle off the Virginia Capes.
F/A-18A Hornets in various color schemes
F/A-18B Hornets in various color schemes
An F/A-18A Hornet on display at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum.
F/A-18A on display at the Air Zoo
3-view drawing of the F/A-18 Hornet
VX-4 F/A-18 with ten AIM-120 AMRAAMs and two AIM-9 Sidewinders
M61 Vulcan on display at Miramar Airshow
An US Marine Corps F/A-18C of VMFA-323, launches off the flight deck of the USS Nimitz.
Marines perform maintenance on an F/A-18D of VMFA-242

Its versatility and reliability have proven it to be a valuable carrier asset, though it has been criticized for its lack of range and payload compared to its earlier contemporaries, such as the Grumman F-14 Tomcat in the fighter and strike fighter role, and the Grumman A-6 Intruder and LTV A-7 Corsair II in the attack role.