Washington, D.C. The Defense Department's effort to block Iran from obtaining much-needed hardware for its fleet of F-14 "Tomcat" fighter jets has led the military to pull far more than parts from F-14s out of its surplus auctions.
The Pentagon's retired F-14s contain roughly 76,000 components. Many of those parts are usable on other planes and, until this year, were sold by the military on the surplus market.
The Defense Department in January halted the sale of all parts from its Tomcats. On Thursday, it disclosed that the suspension went far beyond items from F-14s, and actually sweeps in 163,000 types of components, including parts from other planes and any support equipment that could be used in connection with Tomcats.
Iran received U.S. permission to buy the fighter jets in the 1970s when it was an ally and now is the only country known to be trying to keep F-14s airworthy. The United States retired its Tomcats last year.