The catapult officer calls for full afterburner. 50,000 pounds of thrust spools behind you as your F-14 strains for release. Less than three seconds later your Tomcat screams through the air at 150 knots. You climb to meet your wingman, then head off to join the fight.
User reviews:
Overall:
Positive (9 reviews) - 100% of the 9 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 18, 1994

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Buy Fleet Defender: The F-14 Tomcat Simulation

 

Reviews

“Great graphics and sound; multiple realism options make it as challenging (or as easy) as you like. Much horsepower needed to keep it airborne; learning the controls can be time-consuming. Microprose has scored a direct hit with it. If you enjoy modern air-combat sims, this is definitely for you.”
88 – PC Gamer

“Fleet Defender is pitched against the 'big boys', namely Falcon 3 and Tornado - and it holds its own on all fronts other than the just mentioned graphics. However, there's sufficient depth, realism and playability in the game to help you ignore the nightmare ripple effect.”
86 – PC Zone

About This Game

THE F-14 TOMCAT SIMULATION
"Launch the Ready-Five, Launch the Ready-Five."

The catapult officer calls for full afterburner. 50,000 pounds of thrust spools behind you as your F-14 strains for release. Less than three seconds later your Tomcat screams through the air at 150 knots. You climb to meet your wingman, then head off to join the fight.

Fleet Defender is the first flight simulator to accurately recreate carrier-based operations. Experience all the excitement of a catapult launch, realistic air-to-air combat and the challenge of landing on a pitching deck. You'll be drawn into the high-stakes world of Navy's top guns.

Start your career the same way as a real F-14 crew: training at Oceania Naval Air Station, Virginia, home of the Atlantic Fleet Tomcats. From there, you're bound for duty in the Arctic waters of Norway's North Capa or in the southern Mediterranean, of the Libyan cost. You'll need razor-sharp piloting skills to defeat hostile aircraft using state-of-the-art fighter tactics.

  • Accurate cockpit representations.
  • Realistic enemy AI. New artificial intelligence is patterned after Soviet and Third world military doctrine.
  • Expanded Player-Wingman interaction. As flight leader, a wide range of interactive commands allow you to exercise complete tactical control of your wingman.
  • Terrain graphics. The latest 3-D terrain generating technology produces a vivid, detailed world based on digitized data from the U.S.G.S (United States Geological Survey)
  • Strike packages. Each mission requires you to integrate your F-14 with a variety of modern naval aircraft.
  • New enemy aircraft. Face the latest in Soviet fighter technology, the Su-27 and MiG-31. Use your Tomcat to hunt down "Bears", "Badgers" and "Backfires".

System Requirements

Windows
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7
    • Processor: 1.0 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 100% DirectX compatible graphics
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    • Sound Card: 100% DirectX compatible card or onboard sound
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 100% DirectX compatible graphics
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    • Sound Card: 100% DirectX compatible card or onboard sound
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
    • Processor: 1.0 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 100% OpenGL accelerated card or onboard graphics
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any ALSA supported card on onboard audio
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 100% OpenGL accelerated card or onboard graphics
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any ALSA supported card on onboard audio
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Positive (9 reviews)
Recently Posted
Linux_lord
( 8.7 hrs on record )
Posted: April 27
Dos/Dos this is still awesome in 2016
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ferdinand Griffon
( 1.9 hrs on record )
Posted: September 2, 2015
It is a serious simulator(the manual is inlcuded, it has 123 pages), and I am sure that at that time it was mindblowing. Sadly I was born only 7 days before the release, so I didn't get a chance to enjoy it until now.

It is a great sim and even today you can get quite a bit of entertaining out of it, while you wait for Leatherneck Simulations to release the F-14 for DCS :P

A couple of things you should know. This is abandonware, that means that the company that did this doesn't exist anymore(in fact it doesn't exist since 1999). So that means there is no support and that you can get this for free on most abandonware pages, and run it with DosBox. Yes, the Steam version also runs with DosBox, and also allows you to run it with JukeBox.

Second thing is that if you don't have a US keyboard you are going to have problems with a couple of functions, like the throttle or switching to the RIO seat. There is a fix for this: editing the DosBox config file inside the game folder, line 232, change from "keyboardlayout=auto" "to keyboardlayout=us" and setting your windows keyboard to US, that way you can get it working.

Considering those 2 things mentioned, 7€ is overpriced, I wouldn't pay that much for an abandonware that has problems with non-US keyboards. The good thing is that these games go on sale very often and you can get it for a 75% or 90% disctount, in that case, you should get it. Having it on Steam instead of in a dosfile downloaded from a webpage gives you a guarantee that as long Steam is alive, you will be able to play this without depending on abandonware websites or torrents
Helpful? Yes No Funny
edgar
( 1.2 hrs on record )
Posted: April 30, 2015
I remember when this game was released I was in high school fascinated with airplanes in general and Tomcats in particular. The game was a must for me if only for the single reason that F-14 was the main hero here. But I was not able to adequately appreciate the game back in those days. I took it as just next flight sim out there (I remind you those were the days when you could have had three flight sims for a penny) just with a lovely F-14 models.
When I bought it as a re-release from steam I learned how much I was missing. Although the game could use better gfx (models aren't very detailed I must admit; the tomcats are "boosted" with pretty detailed textures but opponents looks just such), the whole experience of "weapon delivery platform", as the manual says, is unsurpassed. It's not a simple dogfight sim (although it can be played as such in Scramble mode). It's a simulator of a much more complicated concept - an interceptor pair.
Most fun for me in this game comes from working as both pilot and - often overlooked in other games featured F-14 - RIO (Radar Intercept Officer). The game features a very good simulation of AWG-9 radar and targeting system and puts you in charge of operating it to seek and destroy your targets. Of course, you may set your difficulity level to simple and just fly around and shoot your missiles (or even turn on training mode, reload your missiles in mid air and play a "fighter gunboat" ;->) but you'll miss half of the fun. The better half.
I only wish someone would release similar game nowadays using full potential of conteporary computers.
(Oh, and don't mind my 0,7 hours played - I copied the game out and run it with dosbox on my linux laptop :-D)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Soulsick
( 0.9 hrs on record )
Posted: December 15, 2014
One of the best flight sims of the 90's.
I have fond memories of playing this as a teenager.
Bro was also into the complex operations of the Radar Intercept Officer's back seat operations. Although I disabled these and flew it in more an arcade mode.

Fond memories of hunting down Russian Badger bombers launching cruise missiles at the carrier. Losing it means you only have the ocean to land in.
Running out of fuel and trying to glide back to the carrier for a landing.
Having to intercept an Unidentified Flying Object and having to try to shoot it down.
Doing TARPS missions and having to fly directly over hostile bases.
Skipping through the aircraft in the game and watching the dragon fly around (or UFO) =P.

The game featured a branching campaign like Wing Commander, lose the initiative and you'll end up on missions protecting your carrier from enemy assaults. Too many failures and your task group will have to make a strategic withdrawl.
The squadron selection was a nice touch as you get to see the insignia on your plane.
The game is perfectly flyable with a keyboard, not something you can do these days.
This used an updated version of the 1942 Pacific Air War engine, which wasn't surpassed in graphics until around 2000. I spent hours staring at the models.

Great game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Floyd ^A^
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: October 31, 2014
Ahh the memories. Hard to believe this was state of the art
but for its' day it was and still is a fun game. Now if only someone
would put Jane's FA18 and F15 on Steam in playable shape ...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Scharmers (Qt3)
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: October 31, 2014
One of the most important 90's flight-sims, created by one of the most important 90's flight-sim studios. F-14:FD is a study sim of said bird, with moderate-to-high complexity, particularly in the AWG-9 radar modelling and carrier landings. It was one of the benchmark simulations of its day (hard to believe that was 20 years ago as of this writing... where does the time go?) and while the sim's graphics are certainly a smeary, muddy 320x200 mess, the underlying game still holds up well. There's a campaign mode (blow the filthy Commie Scum out of the North Atlantic), scramble (quick mission builder) mode, and even a full mission builder.

Some caveats: first, this is a DOS game, running under DOSBox. I'm not sure if Night Dive Studios made any additional modifcations to the sim other than DOSBox settings, but I know from past experience that FD behaves well under DOSBox so there isn't any problem there. Still, you'll need to understand and futz with DOSBox settings if you want your joystick throttle to work. Second: this is a complex simulation, not a kick-the-tires-and-light-the-fires kind of deal. You will want to read the (hefty) game manual, and you need to understand that you're taking the role of TWO people in the Tomcat -- both the pilot and the RIO. The workload wasn't everyone's bag of tea even back in the 90's, when simheads were two-fisted men of iron and tobacco spit.

So should you, the reader, buy this game?
YES if you are deeply interested in how the (now-retired) Tomcat worked and fought, and don't mind aged (yet somehow still compelling) graphics. There will probably never be a better Turkey sim than this one.

NO if ancient textured polygons bother you, or you're not interested in a simulation more complex than War Thunder. Or are an Eagle pilot, which means you have other problems that nobody can help you with :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
94 of 100 people (94%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
One of the most important 90's flight-sims, created by one of the most important 90's flight-sim studios. F-14:FD is a study sim of said bird, with moderate-to-high complexity, particularly in the AWG-9 radar modelling and carrier landings. It was one of the benchmark simulations of its day (hard to believe that was 20 years ago as of this writing... where does the time go?) and while the sim's graphics are certainly a smeary, muddy 320x200 mess, the underlying game still holds up well. There's a campaign mode (blow the filthy Commie Scum out of the North Atlantic), scramble (quick mission builder) mode, and even a full mission builder.

Some caveats: first, this is a DOS game, running under DOSBox. I'm not sure if Night Dive Studios made any additional modifcations to the sim other than DOSBox settings, but I know from past experience that FD behaves well under DOSBox so there isn't any problem there. Still, you'll need to understand and futz with DOSBox settings if you want your joystick throttle to work. Second: this is a complex simulation, not a kick-the-tires-and-light-the-fires kind of deal. You will want to read the (hefty) game manual, and you need to understand that you're taking the role of TWO people in the Tomcat -- both the pilot and the RIO. The workload wasn't everyone's bag of tea even back in the 90's, when simheads were two-fisted men of iron and tobacco spit.

So should you, the reader, buy this game?
YES if you are deeply interested in how the (now-retired) Tomcat worked and fought, and don't mind aged (yet somehow still compelling) graphics. There will probably never be a better Turkey sim than this one.

NO if ancient textured polygons bother you, or you're not interested in a simulation more complex than War Thunder. Or are an Eagle pilot, which means you have other problems that nobody can help you with :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
38 of 52 people (73%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
Ahh the memories. Hard to believe this was state of the art
but for its' day it was and still is a fun game. Now if only someone
would put Jane's FA18 and F15 on Steam in playable shape ...
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 30, 2015
I remember when this game was released I was in high school fascinated with airplanes in general and Tomcats in particular. The game was a must for me if only for the single reason that F-14 was the main hero here. But I was not able to adequately appreciate the game back in those days. I took it as just next flight sim out there (I remind you those were the days when you could have had three flight sims for a penny) just with a lovely F-14 models.
When I bought it as a re-release from steam I learned how much I was missing. Although the game could use better gfx (models aren't very detailed I must admit; the tomcats are "boosted" with pretty detailed textures but opponents looks just such), the whole experience of "weapon delivery platform", as the manual says, is unsurpassed. It's not a simple dogfight sim (although it can be played as such in Scramble mode). It's a simulator of a much more complicated concept - an interceptor pair.
Most fun for me in this game comes from working as both pilot and - often overlooked in other games featured F-14 - RIO (Radar Intercept Officer). The game features a very good simulation of AWG-9 radar and targeting system and puts you in charge of operating it to seek and destroy your targets. Of course, you may set your difficulity level to simple and just fly around and shoot your missiles (or even turn on training mode, reload your missiles in mid air and play a "fighter gunboat" ;->) but you'll miss half of the fun. The better half.
I only wish someone would release similar game nowadays using full potential of conteporary computers.
(Oh, and don't mind my 0,7 hours played - I copied the game out and run it with dosbox on my linux laptop :-D)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 2, 2015
It is a serious simulator(the manual is inlcuded, it has 123 pages), and I am sure that at that time it was mindblowing. Sadly I was born only 7 days before the release, so I didn't get a chance to enjoy it until now.

It is a great sim and even today you can get quite a bit of entertaining out of it, while you wait for Leatherneck Simulations to release the F-14 for DCS :P

A couple of things you should know. This is abandonware, that means that the company that did this doesn't exist anymore(in fact it doesn't exist since 1999). So that means there is no support and that you can get this for free on most abandonware pages, and run it with DosBox. Yes, the Steam version also runs with DosBox, and also allows you to run it with JukeBox.

Second thing is that if you don't have a US keyboard you are going to have problems with a couple of functions, like the throttle or switching to the RIO seat. There is a fix for this: editing the DosBox config file inside the game folder, line 232, change from "keyboardlayout=auto" "to keyboardlayout=us" and setting your windows keyboard to US, that way you can get it working.

Considering those 2 things mentioned, 7€ is overpriced, I wouldn't pay that much for an abandonware that has problems with non-US keyboards. The good thing is that these games go on sale very often and you can get it for a 75% or 90% disctount, in that case, you should get it. Having it on Steam instead of in a dosfile downloaded from a webpage gives you a guarantee that as long Steam is alive, you will be able to play this without depending on abandonware websites or torrents
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
One of the best flight sims of the 90's.
I have fond memories of playing this as a teenager.
Bro was also into the complex operations of the Radar Intercept Officer's back seat operations. Although I disabled these and flew it in more an arcade mode.

Fond memories of hunting down Russian Badger bombers launching cruise missiles at the carrier. Losing it means you only have the ocean to land in.
Running out of fuel and trying to glide back to the carrier for a landing.
Having to intercept an Unidentified Flying Object and having to try to shoot it down.
Doing TARPS missions and having to fly directly over hostile bases.
Skipping through the aircraft in the game and watching the dragon fly around (or UFO) =P.

The game featured a branching campaign like Wing Commander, lose the initiative and you'll end up on missions protecting your carrier from enemy assaults. Too many failures and your task group will have to make a strategic withdrawl.
The squadron selection was a nice touch as you get to see the insignia on your plane.
The game is perfectly flyable with a keyboard, not something you can do these days.
This used an updated version of the 1942 Pacific Air War engine, which wasn't surpassed in graphics until around 2000. I spent hours staring at the models.

Great game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Recommended
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 27
Dos/Dos this is still awesome in 2016
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny