Plans for the F-14 Super Tomcat were planned after the success of its earlier version, but later with the navy that led to dropping it.
Despite the excellent earlier D variant, priorities determined if there would be a chance to see the plane enter service. During the service of the F-14, it was indispensable when the US and Russia were in a Cold War.
Navy Said 'No' To This Fighter plane
The naval interceptor served from 1970 to 2006 when it was finally retired by the navy. Grumman's high-speed interceptor to this day is hard to be for non-stealth planes, reported 19FortyFive.
Improvements and updates on the venerable interceptor were equipped, and the D-variant was born in 1991. It also had the super moniker to it but would be replaced later on.
Sources say in the 1990s, Grumman suggested a newer version of the fighter that would have been one of the best fighters made.
The modernized F-14 called the super was incomplete because more upgrades were supposed to go in the ST21, which means Super Tomcat for the 21st century that would have radically changed it to something else.
Previously the dual engine fighter-interceptor, which was for fast interception of Russian bombers, was its primary mission. This time planner wanted to be a striker as well. A shift to a ground attack role would be needed to become a multi-role fighter into the F-14 Super Tomcat ST21.
The change to the current plan would be called the F-14 Quick Strike that would not cost much. Included in the package are the following component that would not have increased the cost of operation, like infrared navigation and target acquisition pod similar to the LANTIRN.
These found their way into the F-16 and F-15E, which saw more extra like better radar. More hardpoints underneath the fuselage for more bombs of missiles. A big boost for the Super Tomcat.
Major changes to the F-14 Super Tomcat
Shift to the ST21 would have done away with the glove vanes found outside the wing roots. The purpose of these parts is to cause lift ahead of the jet's central point of gravity when at Mach 1.4 +, it raises the plane's nose higher for better aerial agility.
One critique of the system is that it was maintenance-heavy. Later on, the glove veins were disabled on the ST21. All these compounding problems were the cause of its loss to the F/A-18 Super hornet. The navy had other reasons to choose the winner. Cost is a big reason the military chose the winner of its fly-off and how the entire package would work out in overall maintenance.
It was admitted that the ST21 could have been significant, but there is only so much to make great planes. The Tomcat had an excellent service record and was ideally suited for the interception, and its drawbacks were later felt.
Even if the changes would be superficial, the navy felt their old fighter had to go and let the Hornet be its mainline fighter. If the F-14 Super Tomcat ST21 were chosen, there would be expenses for getting the upgrades which would have cost a bit more.
Related article: Why F-14 Tomcat Is Not An Ordinary Plane to Mess With