Almost all famous fighter aircraft—those of the United States and other nations—primarily gained their fame by a large number of aerial kills. Not so the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. Although considered an outstanding fighter aircraft by most criteria, the F-14 did not have a significant aerial score in U.S. Navy service. Indeed, Navy pilots shot down only five enemy aircraft during the more than three decades that the F-14 was in the Fleet: four Libyan-flown fighters and one Iraqi-flown helicopter.
Significantly, and virtually unknown in the West, Irani-piloted F-14s reportedly achieved 150 air kills in the 1980–88 Iran-Iraq War. Today, Iran, ostensibly an “enemy,” is the only nation flying the F-14.