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F-111 Aardvark

F-111 Aardvark

An F-111C of the Royal Australian Air Force with its wings unswept in 2006.

Role Fighter-bomber
National origin United States
Manufacturer General Dynamics
First flight 21 December 1964
Introduced 18 July 1967
Retired 1998 (USAF)
Status Active with RAAF
Primary users United States Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
Number built 554
Unit cost US$9.8 million (FB-111A)[1]
Variants EF-111A Raven

The General Dynamics F-111 is a medium-range interdictor and tactical strike aircraft that also fills the roles of strategic bomber, reconnaissance and electronic warfare in its various versions. Developed in the 1960s and first entering service in 1967, the United States Air Force (USAF) variants were officially retired by 1998. The only remaining operator of the F-111 is the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

The F-111 pioneered several technologies for production military aircraft, including variable geometry wings, afterburning turbofan engines, and terrain following radar for low-level, high-speed flight. Its design was highly influential, particularly for Soviet engineers, and some of its advanced features have since become commonplace. In its inception, however, the F-111 suffered a variety of development problems, and several of its intended roles, such as naval interception, failed to materialize.

In USAF service the F-111 has been effectively replaced by the F-15E Strike Eagle for medium-range precision strike missions, while the supersonic bomber role has been assumed by the B-1B Lancer. In 2007, the RAAF decided to replace its 21 F-111s in 2010 with 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets.[

November 11, 2008 - Posted by | Jet Fighters | Airforce-Strategic |

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