How Would A Dogfight Between A Tomcat And An Eagle Look Like
Even if fighters like F-22 take the lead today in air-to-air combat, it wasn’t always like that. In the 1980s, there was a debate about the most badass air-to-air combat fighter among the F-14 and the F-15 aircraft. Among these two aircraft which one would you think will take the lead in a head-to-head battle?
The US gained a lot of experience and learned a lot of lessons during the Vietnam war. Both the Tomcat and Eagle were designed after the lessons learned during the Vietnam war. Before these 2 aircraft, the F-4 Phantom played the role of a multi-role fighter, but it lacked some air-to-air features. So in the 1980s, both aircraft manufacturers focused more on air-to-air combat capabilities.
Even today, the F-14 Tomcat has a lot of fans even if it retired in 2006. Wanna know why? The Tomcat had two crew and a top speed of 1,544 miles per hour. Without refueling the Tomcat could fly up to 1,864 miles. Tomcat is loaded with a 20mm M61 cannon and carries eight air-to-air missiles which are a mix of AIM-54 Phoenixes, AIM-7 Sparrows, and AIM-9 Sidewinders. It is also equipped with an AWG-9 radar. The F-14 was first introduced to the Navy in 1974 and Iran was the only buyer. Other than air superiority it was also used mainly to neutralize Soviet bomber aircraft which was a major threat to the carriers.
The single-seat F-15 Eagle was also used by the Air Force for its air superiority needs. It entered the service in 1976 and it is equipped with an APG-63 radar. It also features an M61 cannon and also could carry 8 air-to-air missiles. However, its air-to-air missiles are a combination of the AIM-7 Sparrow and the AIM-9 Sidewinder. Unlike the Tomcat it is still in service in the US and other friendly countries. The F-15 has a better top speed of 1,875 miles per hour and also a better range of 2,402 miles without refueling.
So which fighter would win in a dogfight among them? Well, it depends on their strengths. The F-14’s best chance against an F-15 is at a distance using the phoenix missile. Even if this missile is not made for engaging fighters it might help, but it would also displace 6 AIM-7 sparrow missiles which perform better. The F-15 on the other hand can perform better when it is closer to the target in a dogfight.