Like Jason in the
"Halloween" "Friday the 13th" movie series, even in apparent death the Tomcat remains a threat. AP reports the following about the fate of the now-retired fighter:
"The Defense Department had intended to destroy spare parts unique to the F-14 but sell thousands of others that could be used on other aircraft. It suspended sales of all Tomcat parts after The Associated Press reported in January that buyers for Iran, China and other countries had exploited gaps in surplus-sale security to acquire sensitive U.S. military gear, including F-14 parts.
"Among other tactics, middlemen for the countries misrepresented themselves to gain access to the Defense Department's surplus sales or bought sensitive surplus from U.S. companies that had acquired it from Pentagon auctions and weren't supposed to allow its export.
"Investigators also found some sensitive items accidentally slipping into surplus auctions rather than being destroyed as they were supposed to be. In an unusual move when dealing with retired aircraft, the Pentagon is trying to shut off all avenues for Iran's parts purchasers by demolishing the F-14s, then combing through the scraps to make sure nothing useful remains."Read the entire report here.
(Photo: Andrew Chorney)