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Fleet Defender

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Fleet Defender
Producer(s)Scott Spanburg
Designer(s)Christopher Clark
Scott Elson
Michael J. McDonald
Detmar Peterke
Scott Spanburg
George Wargo
Ned Way
Artist(s)Terrence Hodge
Writer(s)Lawrence T. Russell
Composer(s)Michael Bross
Platform(s)MS-DOS, PC-98
Release1994: MS-DOS
1995: PC-88
Genre(s)Combat flight simulator

Fleet Defender is a combat flight simulator published by MicroProse in 1994. The game uses the F-14B version of the F-14 Tomcat even where anachronistic because the developers found the original, underpowered F-14A unforgiving and "not much fun" in an entertainment flight simulator.[1] An expansion pack, Fleet Defender: Scenario, and a port for the PC-98 were released in 1995.

Tommo purchased the rights to this game and digitally published it through its Retroism brand in 2015.[2]


Fleet Defender models detailed carrier operations including air traffic and take-off/landing under various conditions. The player has control of both the pilot and radar intercept officer (RIO) who manages the AWG-9 radar. Emphasis is placed on using the AIM-54 Phoenix missile as a standoff weapon where possible, rather than engaging the more nimble Soviet fighters in close-quarters dogfighting. Wingmen formations and support aircraft can also be controlled; unlike previous MicroProse simulations, as Computer Gaming World reported in 1994, "No longer do you alone, armed with a single aircraft and eight missiles, engage the entire third world".[3]

Three campaign theatres are included in the original game: The Oceana training theatre, the North Cape theatre, and the Mediterranean theatre (Italy, the Balkans, and part of North Africa).


Computer Gaming World in June 1994 said that "Fleet Defender pushes the envelope of desktop computers" but "strikes a very good balance between game play and pure graphic orgasm". Describing the game as a "tactical flight simulator" unlike a "close-in dog fighter like Falcon 3", it liked the accurate flight envelope, "extensive wingman controls", and "very good" enemy AI. The magazine concluded that "Fleet Defender is an outstanding simulator that will serve to reestablish MicroProse as a major player in the flight sim wars".[5]


  1. ^ Fleet Defender game manual
  2. ^ "Purchase Agreement between Atari, Inc. and Rebellion Developments, Stardock & Tommo" (PDF). BMC Group. 2013-07-22. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03.
  3. ^ Basham, Tom (June 1994). "Fire, But Never Forget". Computer Gaming World. pp. 32–35.
  4. ^ Tom "KC" Basham (January 1995). "Computer Gaming World - Issue 126" (126): 203. Retrieved August 5, 2015. FLEET DEFENDER GOLD CD Boasts Two New Theaters, A Mission Builder, And Multimedia Glitz {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Estephanian, Mark (June 1994). "Top Cat!". Computer Gaming World. pp. 28–32.

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