When talking about innovative and impressive fighter jets, the F-14 and the F-15 should both be included in the discussion. While they do appear to be somewhat similar, there’s also a wide variety of aspects that make them different from one another. Both developed in the 1970s, one of these aircrafts lasted much longer in the United States fleet.
Let’s take a look at some of the details below of the F-14 and the F-15 and compare the two so we can understand their differences, even though they both sport the same overall look. One thing is for sure: You wouldn’t want either of these jets to be on your tail.
This jet was developed for the United States Navy, however, it’s been retired from USN service since 2006, and it is now utilized by the Iranian air force. The tactical Grumman F-14 was used primarily as an interceptor and air superiority fighter aircraft, so it’s a widely versatile jet when it comes to air combat. The F-14 is capable of hitting a top speed of Mach 2.34 or 1,544 MPH.
Its first flight was back in 1970, during which was essentially an attempt to develop a high-endurance, long-range interceptor capable of defending battle groups on aircraft carriers against Soviet anti-ship missiles. Its armament and weapons systems include a 20mm M61 Vulcan Gatling-type cannon, AIM-54 Phoenix, AIM-7 Sparrow, and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles. That’s not all though, because it carries both laser-guided and unguided bombs onboard, as well.
You may even remember seeing the fighter pilots sport these jets around dogfighting in the classic movie Top Gun, which made the plane even more popular. The U.S. Navy crafted quite the aircraft, and it was a success at the time, however, Iran decided to keep the F-14 around, as the U.S. moved on to the next generations of fighter jets.
The F-15 Eagle was built by McDonnell Douglas Boeing Defense, primarily for the U.S. Air Force, and it was introduced back in 1976. The jet was made to be strictly an air superiority fighter, meaning it needed to have the ability to shoot down just about anything that posed a threat in the skies. It demonstrates extreme maneuverability, and the afterburners will bring the F-15 to a top speed of Mach 2.5.
Its weaponry includes both air-to-air missiles and air-to-ground capabilities. More specifically, the F-15 can be armed with AIM-7F/M Sparrow long-range air missiles, AIM-120 AMRAAM advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles, AIM-9L/M Sidewinder missiles, and like the F-14, has bombs and also uses an M61A1 20mm Gatling-type gun. If you get into a dogfight, this is the jet you’d want on your side.
The United States isn’t the only country using these jets, as Japan, Israel, and Saudi Arabia also utilize them. If you’ve ever seen these things hanging out at the Air Force base, they’re quite intimidating just to even look at.
F-14 vs F-15
Although both jets are capable of causing immense amount of destruction, there are lots of differences in the two jets. One of which is the fact that only 712 of the F-14 aircrafts were produced, while 1,200 F-15s were made. Today, there are zero F-14s left in the United States fleet, but 222 F-15s are still operational in the USAF.
The F-14 was developed to be versatile, while the F-15 had a singular job of air superiority. The prices to produce these jets differ from each other as well, with the F-15 coming in around $8 million cheaper. Weight ratios are also different. The F-14 has a loaded weight of nearly 61,000 pounds and the F-15 chops that down to a little over 44,500 pounds.
They both sport the same twin-engine design with two seats, but the F-15 has a higher top speed. Wingspan on the F-14 is much larger than on the F-15, which very likely has an impact on why the F-15 is lighter. One of the most notable differences is the range in which they can attack. With a combat radius of 575 miles, the F-14 cannot match the massive 1,222 mile radius of the F-15, which has potential to make all the difference in combat.
If these two fighter jets went head-to-head, I think it’s safe to conclude that the F-15 would come out victorious. But, don’t let that downplay the deadliness of the F-14. The United States is known for crafting some of the most advanced tactical fighters in the world, such as the F-22 Raptor and the F-4 Phantom, but both the F-14 Tomcat and the F-15 Eagle are tremendous examples of top-notch engineering.