An Iranian Grumman F-14 Tomcat fighter jet crashed after suffering an engine failure. The incident took place on June 18, 2022, minutes after the aircraft took off from Isfahan, central Iran.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) Tomcat was about to land back at the Shahid Babaei Base after a flight mission, according to local news agency Mehr News.
“The main cause of this accident was the failure of the fighter engine,” a regional military spokesperson told Mehr News. “Fortunately, with the timely action of the pilot and the co-pilot, both of them ejected from the fighter and were not seriously injured.”
Shahid Babaei Base, also known as Tactical Air Base 8, is located in the vicinity of Isfahan International Airport (IFN). It was specifically built to house the IRIAF fleet of Tomcats after their acquisition in 1974, five years before the Islamic Revolution which cut diplomatic ties between Iran and the United States.
Iran was the sole foreign customer of the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, and since the US Navy retired the aircraft in 2006, it is the last to operate the air superiority fighter made famous by the 80s classic Top Gun. With no way for the IRIAF to procure parts for 42 years due to international sanctions, the number of jets still flight-capable is unclear.