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The US Navy Says Goodbye to the Tomcat 576

jonerik writes "Though it's not being widely reported, this week marks the end of the line for the F-14 Tomcat in US Navy service. First flown in 1970, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat was easily one of the world's most powerful, advanced, and deadly aircraft for many years, capable of flying at Mach 2.3 and firing its half-dozen Mach 5 AIM-54 Phoenix air-to-air missiles at targets as much as 100 miles away. Having been gradually replaced during the last several years by the newer F/A-18E/F, the last of the aircraft in US service will be officially retired on Friday, September 22nd in a ceremony at Virginia's Oceana Naval Air Station. However, at least a few F-14s will continue to fly for a few more years: Iran — which took delivery of 79 aircraft before the overthrow of the Shah — still flies the plane, though only a small number (perhaps ten or twenty) are believed to still be in service due to a lack of spare parts and attrition."

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