Calibre Wings 1/72nd scale CA72DC01 Grumman F-14J Tomcat 3rd TFS Mona Cat. Buy now online at Flying Tigers.
When the Navy signed the contract for the F-14 with Grumman, some 700 Tomcats were to be built. But at some point, the Navy cut back its order to some 300 F-14s which was a serious problem for Grumman, so the company was looking for foreign customers to buy their aircraft.
First and only foreign country to fly the F-14 was Iran. Back in the early ’70s the Shah was about to buy new fighters for the Imperial Iranian Air Force. The choice was either the MDD F-15 Eagle or the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. After a competitive show and certainly a lot of talks about the pros and cons of both fighters, Iran decided to go for the F-14 Tomcat. BuNos 160299 to 160378 (F-14A-90/95-GR) were built for Iran with the last one (BuNo 160378) remaining in the US after the Islamic revolution in Iran. This particular aircraft was put into storage at Davis-Monthan AFB until it was refurbished and used at the PMTC at Point Mugu, CA.
Another possible foreign customer might have been Japan when its Air Force was about to buy a replacement for their ageing fighters. Again, the decision had to be made between the F-14 and the F-15 … Grumman took big efforts to win this contract with Japan but this time the F-15 Eagle won.
Even West Germany was in the early ’70s a possible customer for the F-14. The German Luftwaffe Lt. General Steinhof even visited the Grumman production line.
Finally, in the 1970s Grumman was persuing F-14 sales to Canada. The Canadians seemed interested, even came down to the Grumman plant for a briefing, check-ride, etc. They needed something to replace their aging F-101 Voodoos with, and the F-14 seemed to be the answer. In fact, it looked pretty good for a while, then suddenly the whole thing went sour. The reason for not buying the F-14 must have been politics, not the price of the plane.