CVA-58 USS United States
After the second World War, the new enemy of the US was the Soviet Union, and the age of the atomic weapons began.
The only way to deploy those weapons was to drop them from an aircraft, when such an aircraft had to launch from an aircraft carrier it would need an action-radius of 3700 km. to reach all targets. With a load of 5,1 tons and a large fuel-load the intended aircraft needs a takeoff speed of approximately 500 knots and a wingspan of more than 35 meters and a takeoff total weight of 45 tons.
No existing aircraft carrier could launch such an aircraft, and the navy would need a totally flat carrier, that meant no masts, electronics would have to be placed on escort ships.
At first it was tought hangers were not needed but the low and long hull would be to heavy so the decision was made to design an armored deck above the hanger, the deck would be a reinforcement for the hull.
On the ship 16 – 24 bombers would be placed along with some 50 fighters (McDonnell F2H Banshee).
The name of the first ship in the class would be “United States”
A few days after the Keel-Plate was layed in April 1949 the build was cancelled by the secretary of Defence after a succesfull lobby of the Air Force.?
|Built by:||Newport News|
|Gone into service:||Never completed|
|Water displacement:||68250 tons (standard)80500 tons (loaded)|
|Length:||314,2 m. (waterline)331,8 m. (total)|
|load water-line:||10,5 m. (loaded)|
|Number of aircraft:||70-80|
|Flight deck:||315,4 x 58 m.|
|Arms:||8x 127 mm (2x double 4x single) 16x 76 mm (8x double) and 20x 20 mm cannons|
|Engine:||Steam turbines with cog wheel transferring, 8 x boilers and 4 x propellers|
|Speed:||33 knots (61,13 km/h / 37,99 mph)|
|Max. Fuel stock:||11200 tons|
|Action radius:||22200 km. at 27,79 km/h / 11987,31 miles at 17,27 mph|
|Armoring:||38 mm (Vertical sides) 19 mm (hanger walls) 50 mm (flight-deck) 38 mm (hanger and protection-deck)|
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, variable sweep wing, two-placed fighter designed to attack and destroy enemy aircraft at night and in all weather conditions, from carriers or shore based.
Three basic versions have been developed for service with the US Navy. First was F-14A (# 557) (including 12 YF-14A pre-production Tomcats) built for the Navy.
The first flight (with the 157980) on December 21st 1970 was a short hop with the wings kept in fully forward position. The second test flight on December 30th 1970 ended in disaster, during this flight the aircraft suffered a primary hydraulic system failure, the crewmen were forced to eject, they survived with minor injuries, the aircraft was destroyed.
Tomcat No. 10 (157989) was delivered to the Naval Air Test Center at Patuxent River, Maryland for structural trials and carrier capability work. On June 30th 1972 it crashed in the water while preparing for an air show at Patuxent, killing Test pilot Bob Millar, who had survived the crash of the first F-14.
The Tomcat with construction number 5 (157984) assigned to Point Mugu, CA for armament trials, it had the rather dubious honor of shooting itself down on June 20th 1973. An AIM-7E-2 Sparrow missile pitched up moments after being launched, striking the Tomcat. The Crew ejected safely.
The F-14 has suffered many difficulties since entering fleet service. Many were engine-related, the Pratt & Whitney TF30 turbofan proving something of an Achilles heel. Fan blade losses caused several crashes before improved quality control and steel containment cases alleviated the worst consequences of engine failure.?
The F-14B was a re-engine version powered by the F110 turbofan but retaining the avionics suite of the F-14A. Originally given the designation F-14A+, production of new build F-14B’s totaled 38 and… Conversions F-14A.
In addition to the F110 engine, the F14D also embodies a modernized avionics package, including AN/APG-71 radar, there are 37 new build F-14D’s.
The US Navy plans to retire its Tomcat fleet as it introduces the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the F-14 has continued to provide valuable capabilities in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Tomcats have a better fuel capability than F/A-18 Hornets, so F-14s can fly a bit longer and faster. An F-14 can typically fly a round trip of 1.200 km in about one-and-a-half to two hours without refueling. The Tomcat’s LANTIRN (Low-altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night) system is more advanced than the F/A-18′s Nighthawk targeting pods, giving Tomcats an advantage over today’s F/A-18 Hornets for air-to-ground missions. According to latest statements by the U.S. Navy, the F-14s will stay in service with the US Navy until at least 2010.
|Developing Nation:||United States.|
|Task:||Long distance interceptor.|
|First Flight:||- YF-14A BuNo 157980 December 21st, 1970.- F-14B BuNo 157986 September 12th 1973.- F-14A+ BuNo 162910 September 1986.- F-14D BuNo 163412 February 1990.|
|First Delivery:||October 8th,1972 to VF-124, the Fleet Replacement Squadron.|
|First Operational Cruise:||September 1974, with VF-1 and VF-2 on the USS Enterprise.|
|Ejection Seat:||Martin-Baker GRU-7A rocket-assisted zero-zero.|
|Wing Span:||- 19,54 m with swept wings- 11,65 m with swept wings- 10,15 m with over swept wings|
|Wing Area:||52,49 sq m.|
|Engine (s):||Two Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-412A/414A turbofans each rated at 92.97 kN.|
|Weight:||- Empty: 18.191 Kg.- Internal fuel: 7.348 Kg.- External fuel: 1.724 Kg.- Max. payload 6.577 Kg.|
|Max. Takeoff weight weight:||Max. take off: 33.724 Kg.|
|Max. Landing weight:||23.510 kg.|
|Cruise Speed:||1.019 km/h.|
|Max. Speed:||2.485 km/h at 14.935 m.|
|Operating altitude:||11.000 m.|
|Max. Range:||3.220 Km.|
|Performance:||Combat air patrol with six AIM-7 Sparrows and four AIM-9 Sidewinders 1.233 km.|
|Radar:||Hughes AWG-9 long-range interceptor with a range of 160 km.|
|Weapons:||- M61A1 Vulcan 20-mm six-barreled cannon.- AIM-7M Sparrow.- AIM-9M Sidewinder.- AIM-54C Phoenix.- Mk 83 Bombs.- Mk 84 GP Bombs|
|Extra:||The Tomcat can carry only conventional “dumb” bombs, and has no precision-guided ammunition capability, except when operating in conjunction with a separate laser designator aircraft.|
|F-14D Tomcat specification:*|
|Engine (s):||Two General Electric F110-GE-400 turbofans each rated at 62.27 kN dry and 102.75 kN with afterburning.|
|Weight:||- Empty: 18.951 Kg.- Internal fuel: 7.348 Kg.- External fuel: 1.724 Kg.- Max. payload: 6.577 Kg.|
|Max. Take off weight weight:||Max. take off: 33.724 Kg.|
|Max. Landing weight:||23.510 kg.|
|Cruise Speed:||764 km/h.|
|Max. Speed:||1.977 km/h at 14.935 m.|
|Operating altitude:||11.000 m.|
|Max. Range:||2.965 Km.|
|Performance:||Combat air patrol with six AIM-7 Sparrows and four AIM-9 Sidewinders 1.994 km.|
|Extra:||TARPS (Tactical Air Reconnaissance Pod System) multi-sensor pod and an ALQ-167 jamming pod.|
* Generally similar to the F-14A except in the following particulars.
|Countries where the F-14 is in service|
|Iran||- 79 F-14Awe believe that some of theF-14A’s are still flying, but we’re not sure about the number.|
|United States||- 12 YF-14A|
|- 546 F-14A|
|- 38 F-14B|
|- 37 F-14D|
Grumman F-14 Tomcat in combat
Vietnam war 1974-1975
The Tomcat was in service just in time to see the closing stages of the Vietnam War in 1975. It flew top cover during operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of US personnel from Saigon in April of 1975, just before that city fell to the north. The North Vietnamese Air Force did not interfere with the operation, but one Tomcat was slightly damaged by anti-aircraft fire.
Libya, Gulf of Sidra August 1981
On August 19th, two Libyan Sukhoi Su-22 Fitter-J fighters were shot down by a pair of VF-41 Tomcats after one of the Fitters fired a missile at the American fighters. Both kills were with the AIM-9L Sidewinder.
Urgent Fury October 1983
The invasion of Grenada, TARPS (Reconnaissance Pod) equipped F-14′s provided intelligence on troop movements for invading Marines and Army Rangers.
Hijacking Italian cruise ship Achille Laura: October 19th 1985
The Hijackers had found refuge in Egypt, where arrangements had been made to fly them to sanctuary Libya aboard an Egypt Air Boeing 737. Seven Tomcats from VF-74 and VF-104 from the USS Saratoga (CV-60) intercepted the airliner and forced it to land at Sigonella in Italy.
Gulf of Sidra March 24-26th 1986
Numerous strikes were carried out by navy carrier based aircraft against Libyan targets, with Tomcats flying top cover, keeping Libyan fighters at bay and dodging Sam’s
Operation El Dorado Canyon: April 14th 1986
USAF General Dynamics F-111′s attacking Tripoli (Libya) while navy strike aircraft went after Benghazi. The later raid was top-covered by F-14′s.
Mediterranean January 4th 1989
Two F-14A’s (159437 and 159610) from VF-32 flying of the John F. Kennedy (CV-67) shot down a pair of Libyan MiG-23 Floggers.
Persian Gulf 1988-1989
There were some Sidewinders fired between US navy Tomcats and Iranian F-4 Phantoms during the oil tanker escort operations in the Persian Gulf, these launches were all well out of parameters, and scored no kills.
Desert Storm 17 January – 28 February 1991
Tomcats flew mostly CAP operations in protection of the fleet’s carriers and in the escort of strike packages. The Tomcats are credited with only one kill. A Mil Mi-8 Hip helicopter was shot down with an AIM-9 Sidewinder missile. One F-14 Tomcat was lost in action on January 21st when it was shot down by an Iraqi surface to air missile, the crew ejected safely.
Southern Watch: 1 March 1991- 1 May 2003
During the first days of 1999, 2 USAF F-15s and 4 US Navy F-14D (VF-213) were engaged by about 13 Iraqi MiG’s and Mirage F.1s above the No Fly Zone in southern Iraq. In accordance with the UN resolutions, both the F-15s and F-14s fired missiles at long distance at the Iraqi. No Iraqi aircraft were hit, but one Iraqi fighter is said to have crashed on approach to its airbase because of a lack of fuel.
After this incident the UN continue to control the No Fly Zones, undisturbed by Saddam’s forces … eventually firing at Iraqi installations if provoked.
Deliberate Force: Aug.- Sept. 1994
The U.S. Navy aircraft carriers with CVW-8 onboard were on station in the Adriatic Sea. In support of the IFOR and SFOR troops in former Yugoslavia, F-14s from several squadrons flew multi-role missions: Air-to-ground strikes against hostile targets (Close Air Support), Forward Air Control? and TARPS missions.
Allied Force: 24 March – 10 June 1999
To end Yugoslavian terror NATO bombed Serbia for weeks day and night. The US sent among others the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt which also meant launching F-14s. The role of the F-14s was enemy fighter suppression, forward air control, aerial reconnaissance and also precision laser-guided air-to-ground attacks.
Enduring Freedom 7 October 2001 -
On Oct. 7, 2001 aircraft carriers (CVN-65 with VF-14 & CVN-70 with VF-213) launched long-range, heavy loaded F-14 and medium-range F/A-18 strike fighters day and night while the Air Force sent long-range bombers deep into Afghanistan. Targets were terrorist bases, weapons and vehicles, training camps and Taliban military units.
On Oct. 9, 2001 VF-14 led the first long-range tactical air strike, flying over 1,700 miles round trip to Mazar-e Sharif, where Taliban aircraft were destroyed on the ground. Numerous strikes with precision guided ammunition followed from VF-14, VF-41, VF-102, VF-211 and VF-213.
Iraqi Freedom 20 March 2003 -
F-14 Tomcats took part in the war as part of several Carrier Air Wings. The deputy commander of CVW-41 (USS Abraham Lincoln) stated, that even with the arrival of the F/A-18E, the F-14 remains “the platform of choice for precision targeting.” Land-based Navy F-14 Tomcats supported special operations forces on the ground during multiple strike missions over western Iraq. Details are classified.
The Boeing AH-64 Apache is a tandem two-seat attack helicopter. Is designed by Hughes, sold to McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company in January 1984, and now in production by Boeing after the take over of McDonnell Douglas in August 1997.
The Apache is specially designed to operate at night, the two censors located on the nose make this possible. The basic principle that makes vision at night reality, is called FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red). All objects have a certain temperature, by measuring differences in that temperature a video-image can be produced that can be produced that can be used for both flying and target acquisition/designation.
The pilot uses the so-called Pilot Night Vision Sensor (PNVS) located on the top of the nose, this device produces the FLIR-imagery used for flying. The co-pilot/gunner primarily uses the Target Acquisition and Designation System (TADS) to find and engage targets, the TADS can also be used as a backup vision-device for flying.
The AH-64 Apache’s? PIC (Pilot In Command) in the back-seat and pilot/gunner in the front seat, are players in a real-life, hi-tech video game. Able to operate in any weather, Apache gunners can acquire multiple targets and ripple-fire their full range of weapons. A pair of Apaches could rip through a convoy in minutes. The AH-64A was essentially an analogue aircraft on a digital battle field. The AH-64″D” model is a further development, which is a fully digitized (four dual-channel MIL-STD 1553B data-busses) platform and some of them have the mushroom-shaped radar, only they have the name Apache Longbow.
The Longbow Fire Control Radar with its distinctive mast-mounted antenna is a 35 GHz radar system for the detection, location, classification and prioritization of tactical targets.
The Boeing AH-64D is armed with the Lockheed Martin/Boeing AGM-114D Longbow Hellfire air-to-surface missile which has a millimeter wave seeker which allows the missile to perform in full fire and forget mode. Range is 8km to 12km.
The first of the upgraded Block II Apaches was delivered to the US Army in February 2003. Block II includes upgrades to the digital communications systems to improve communications within the “tactical internet”. Block III improvements, slated for 2008 on, include increasing digitization, capability to control UAV’s and new composite rotor blade.
Westland WAH-64 Apache Longbow
59 Westland WAH-64 Apache Longbow are built under license in the UK by GKN-Westland Helicopters Limited at Yeovilton. The first 8 WAH-64 were built by Boeing at Mesa Arizona. Ministry of Defense UK specified a number of different equipments to be incorporated on WAH-64. These included:
- Rolls Royce Turbomeca RTM322 engines.
- A state of the art Helicopter Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (HIDAS).
- A deicing system for rotor blade operation in cold weather.
- CRV7 2.75 inch rockets made by Bristol Aerospace of Canada.
- Folding blades, to facilitate operations from ships.
- A Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS). HUMS will record accurately WAH-64 flight data (such as engine temperatures and rotor torque) to make maintenance easy.
- SATURN (a new NATO UHF secure radio) and BOWMAN (British Army combat radio)
- Air-to-air missile for self protection.
All British Apaches have standard the Longbow Radar.
Data from Jane’s Information Group Apache AH-64
- Crew: 2 (pilot, and co-pilot/gunner)
- Length: 58.17 ft (17.73 m) (with both rotors turning)
- Rotor diameter: 48 ft 0 in (14.63 m)
- Height: 12.7 ft (3.87 m)
- Disc area: 1,809.5 ft² (168.11 m²)
- Empty weight: 11,387 lb (5,165 kg)
- Loaded weight: 17,650 lb (8,000 kg)
- Max takeoff weight: 23,000 lb (10,433 kg)
- Powerplant: 2× General Electric T700-GE-701 and later upgraded to T700-GE-701C (1990–present) & T700-GE-701D (AH-64D block III) turboshafts, -701: 1,690 shp, -701C: 1,890 shp, -701D: 2,000 shp (-701: 1,260 kW, -701C: 1,490 kW, -701D: 1,490 kW) each
- Fuselage length: 49 ft 5 in (15.06 m)
- Rotor systems: 4 blade main rotor, 4 blade tail rotor in non-orthogonal alignment
- Never exceed speed: 197 knots (227 mph, 365 km/h)
- Maximum speed: 158 knots (182 mph, 293 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 143 knots (165 mph, 265 km/h)
- Range: 257 nmi (295 mi, 476 km) with Longbow radar mast
- Combat radius: 260 nmi (300 mi, 480 km)
- Ferry range: 1,024 nmi (1,180 mi, 1,900 km)
- Service ceiling: 21,000 ft (6,400 m) minimum loaded
- Rate of climb: 2,500 ft/min (12.7 m/s)
- Disc loading: 9.80 lb/ft² (47.9 kg/m²)
- Power/mass: 0.18 hp/lb (310 W/kg)
- Guns: 1× 30 × 113 mm (1.18 × 4.45 in) M230 Chain Gun with 1,200 rounds
- Hardpoints: Up to 6 pylon stations on stub wing
- Rockets: Hydra 70 air-to-ground rockets
- Missiles: combination of AGM-114 Hellfire, AIM-9 Sidewinder, and AIM-92 Stinger
- Lockheed Martin / Northrop Grumman AN/APG-78 Longbow fire-control radar (Note: can only be mounted on the AH-64D)
*12 AH-64A Apache Netherlands leased from the US Army from November 13, 1996 till February 19, 2001 for US $1 each.
** 6 AH-64D are at Forth Hood, TX USA for training and live shooting, and from January 2004 there are 6 AH-64D’s for sale.