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posted by fyngyrz on Thursday March 08 2018, @11:10AM   Printer-friendly
from the stray-cats dept.

On April 9, 1972, Iraq and the Soviet Union signed an historic agreement. The USSR committed to arming the Arab republic with the latest weaponry. In return for sending Baghdad guns, tanks and jet fighters, Moscow got just one thing — influence... in a region that held most of the world's accessible oil.

Nixon and his national security adviser Henry Kissinger visited Tehran in May 1972 — and promptly offered the shah a "blank check." Any weapons the king wanted and could pay for, he would get — regardless of the Pentagon's own reservations and the State Department's stringent export policies.

That's how, starting in the mid-1970s, Iran became the only country besides the United States to operate arguably the most powerful interceptor jet ever built — the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, a swing-wing carrier fighter packing a sophisticated radar and long-range AIM-54 Phoenix air-to-air missiles.

Today Iran's 40 or so surviving F-14s remain some of the best fighters in the Middle East. And since the U.S. Navy retired its last Tomcats in 2006, the ayatollah's Tomcats are the only active Tomcats left in the world.

TFA goes on in some depth both about the historical importance of the F-14 as it flew nearly 50 years ago, as well as the challenges Iran has faced in creating an entirely new supply chain, and eventually new upgrades, to keep a fleet of dedicated interceptors from the last century in service.

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  • (Score: 2) by cmn32480 on Friday March 30 2018, @09:08PM (8 children)

    by cmn32480 (443) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 30 2018, @09:08PM (#31499) Journal

    She wants 1986 back!

    • (Score: 2) by cmn32480 on Friday March 30 2018, @09:08PM (5 children)

      by cmn32480 (443) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 30 2018, @09:08PM (#31500) Journal

      Screw you! Top Gun was one of the best movies... EVER!

      • (Score: 2) by cmn32480 on Friday March 30 2018, @09:09PM (4 children)

        by cmn32480 (443) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 30 2018, @09:09PM (#31501) Journal

        Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise are both dreamy!

        • (Score: 2) by cmn32480 on Friday March 30 2018, @09:10PM (2 children)

          by cmn32480 (443) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 30 2018, @09:10PM (#31502) Journal

          Kelly McGillis was quite the piece back then too. Though I understand time has NOT been kind.

          • (Score: 2) by cmn32480 on Friday March 30 2018, @09:11PM (1 child)

            by cmn32480 (443) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 30 2018, @09:11PM (#31503) Journal

            She can still Take My Breath Away

            • (Score: 2) by martyb on Friday March 30 2018, @09:35PM

              by martyb (76) on Friday March 30 2018, @09:35PM (#31505) Journal

              She can still Take My Breath Away

              Watching every motion
              In my foolish lover's game
              On this endless ocean
              Finally lovers know no shame

        • (Score: 2) by chromas on Saturday March 31 2018, @07:03AM

          by chromas (34) on Saturday March 31 2018, @07:03AM (#31507)

          Especially when they oiled up and played grab-ass on the beach!

    • (Score: 2) by martyb on Friday March 30 2018, @09:31PM (1 child)

      by martyb (76) on Friday March 30 2018, @09:31PM (#31504) Journal

      She wants 1986 back!

      Back? Back... what? Back to the Future?

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