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Viggen

Tomcat Questions

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Ok, in my never ending series of questions about Naval Aviation, I've got two more today (tonight in 'Merica).

 

What block of F-14 is featured in SF2NA?

 

The long range camera system used in Red Storm Rising to track the Backfires and tankers, was that the TCS or a work of fiction?

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Which one the TARPS cam pod or TVSU cam? As for what block is used in the game, I'm not sure.

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I think the Northrop TCS was not added until post 1982 - so the MF model for that year would have it

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The Tomcats in SF2NA are configured as Block 60/65 (F-14A) and Block 90-ish aircraft (F-14A_77).  The reason I know that is the ECM suite on the TW F-14A utilizes pre-ALR-45/50 receiver bands in its data.ini, the cockpit is set up more closely to the early Turkey configurations before the ALR-45/50 lights were added to the right side of the HUD/windscreen, and it doesn't have automatically deployed maneuver flaps and slats (among a few other smaller hints).  The ALR-45/50 was introduced in Block 70, and it was Block 70 F-14's that made the first cruise to Vietnam in 1974-75 (VF-1 and VF-2 initially were equipped with Block 60 and 65 aircraft before the cruise).  F-14A_77 has the newer bands for its warning receiver and lights on the right side of the HUD, the new UHF/comms frequency selectors and lowered clock on the right cockpit, among a few other tweaks.

 

Of note, the baseline F-14A was not modeled with the early-configuration beaver tail/airbrake, so that makes it a bit harder to identify.  

 

The TCS pod was experimented with during ACEVAL/AIMVAL on Block 90 birds in the mid-1970's (at the time called TVSU), but was not implemented with active squadrons until the early 1980's (~1981-1982), and even then took until about 1985 or so to finally make it to all the fleet squadrons (I recall a Tomcat driver saying in 1984 not all their aircraft had them yet).  If the book takes place in 1986, then the majority, if not all F-14's would be equipped with the TCS pod.  One of the anachronisms that Clancy did have was in Hunt for Red October where the F-14's were already using the F110 engine.  I can't recall if this is ever mentioned in RSR, but the F-14B didn't enter service until 1987.

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The beaver tail was what I was looking for too, and I didn't think to look for the other exterior differences in the blocks.

 

RSR never mentions the F-14's engines. I think they were specified as F-14As at one point in the book anyway.

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When RSR was written, the only engine was the TF34. It wasn't mentioned that I could recall anyway.

 

Of course, the Clancy verse is bizarre anyway. It seems to follow history up through Reagan and possibly Bush, but then it gets REAL murky. Apparently his characters were all president afterwards, but he makes reference to things that Clinton and Bush did afterwards even though they couldn't have been president?

Not to mention that the USSR makes a ground-based laser that can destroy satellites in orbit in the late 80s and then just stops. Or a nuke killing 50k people at the Super Bowl gets forgiven, but the 9/11 attacks are somehow horrible.

 

You pretty much have to give it up and go with it.

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