A podded APU would provide the Navy with an inexpensive alternative to an internally mounted APU for the F-14 aircraft. The increased ground cooling needs of the F-14D coupled with the long standing desire to reduce deck congestion and improve maintainability make it ever more important to improve F-14 supportability on the deck. Introduction of the F-14D into the fleet in increasing numbers calls for a rapid solution that only the podded APU can provide.
Modifying the current F-14 to accommodate an internally mounted APU would inevitably require a loss of fuel directly by displacing fuel tanks for an APU, or indirectly as a take-off Gross Weight (TOGW) penalty. In either case, the modification would certainly reduce bring-back weapons capability. The proven, podded APU concept, which is nothing more than a “flying groundcart” would not completely eliminate the F-14 supportability issue but is a compromise that balances supportability and vehicle performance.