The Gruman F-14 Tomcat fighter made its first flight on December 21st 1970. The plane was designed to be the new navy air superiority fighter. The plane has swept wings and is capable of a maximium speed of 1,554 MPH. The Tomcat's weapon system- its Phonex air-to air missiles- was an integral part of the planes design. The missiles are capable of destroying aircraft 50 miles away, thus contributing to the Tomcat ability to insure that no hostile plane gets withing striking distance of the aircraft carrier that the Tomcat is defending. In the year 2003 the Tomcat remains the Navy's premier fighter.