Grumman F-14A Tomcat
From its first test flights in 1970 through to its retirement in 2006, the F-14 Tomcat was a carrier-based fighter that captured the imagination; its variable sweep wing allowed automatic adjustment for optimum performance and an impressive combination of speed and manouverability. It had a powerful AN/AWG-9 fire control system that could use AIM-54 Phoenix missiles to take on multiple targets from range.
477 of the 632 Tomcats supplied to the U.S. Navy were the early F-14A variant; their delivery to units began with carrier squadrons in 1973, and its combat debut was in the 1975 evacuation from Saigon. It was later in action in conflicts in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan. Seventy-nine F-14As were also supplied to Iran before the 1979 Islamic Revolution and some still remain in service today.