The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable geometry wing aircraft. The F-14 was the United States Navy's primary maritime air superiority fighter, fleet defense interceptor and tactical reconnaissance platform from 1974 to 2006. It later performed precision strike missions once it was integrated with the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night LANTIRN system. The F-14 was developed after the collapse of the F-111B project, and was the first of the American teen-series fighters which were designed incorporating the experience of air combat in Vietnam against MiGs.
It entered service in 1972 with the U.S. Navy, replacing the F-4 Phantom II. It was later exported to the former Imperial Iranian Air Force in 1976, during a time when the US still had good relations with Iran. It was retired from the active U.S. Navy fleet on 22 September 2006, having been replaced by the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. As of 2008, it remains in service only with the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force.