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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 129-03
March 20, 2003

U.S. NAVY'S F-14D TOMCATS GAIN JDAM CAPABILITY

Naval Air Systems Command's (NAVAIR) F-14 Program Office announced today that it has accelerated and deployed a software upgrade program that will allow U.S Navy's F-14 D model Tomcats to carry Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM).

Completed operational tests already in progress indicated that the software upgrade was mature and stable. The test community determined that with an acceleration of remaining critical tests, they could provide a recommendation for an early release of the JDAM capability.

On Jan. 31, 2003, a NAVAIR software support team was assembled to modify the aircraft and install the new software. They reported aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt Feb. 2 and received required hardware two days later to start modifying F-14Ds. In 17 days, the team modified all forward deployed F-14Ds. The team loaded the software, assisted with the hardware modifications on the aircraft, and trained more than 90 aircrew and maintainers on JDAM employment.

A Tomcat can carry four JDAMs, each weighing 2,000 pounds. March 1, 2003 marked the first operational employment of JDAM from an F-14D.

"The Tomcat has proven itself time and again," said Capt. Peter Williams, NAVAIR F-14 program manager. "You could say that the cat has many lives and once again we've added more capability to a mature platform."

For questions pertaining to the F-14 Program, contact Denise Deon, NAVAIR Public Affairs Office for TacAir, (301) 481-6263. For questions pertaining to the JDAM Program, contact Sandra Schroeder, NAVAIR Public Affairs Officer for Strike Weapons and Unmanned Aviation, (301) 757-5289.