U.S. Navy F-14Ds have been assigned the Forward Air Control Airborne FAC(A)-mission, and the promise is unlimited. Rarely in the history of the FAC(A) or Fast FAC missions has such a capable platform done this demanding mission with such precision and lethality.
Why is this platform so special? First and perhaps foremost from the ground commander's perspective, the F-14D brings endurance to the battlefield. Unlike their Marine counterparts flying F/A-18Ds, F-14 crews enjoy literally hours of on-station time with 20,000 pounds of fuel and their relatively fuel efficient F-110 GE turbofans. But endurance is only the first of the Super Tomcat's merits. Precision navigation in the form of two ring-laser gyros (and a soon to be added Global Positioning System capability) provide F-14D FAC(A) crews a way to bring battlefield geography into the cockpit.