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Old June 25, 2002, 08:21 AM   #1
Jamie Young
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Whatever happened to the F111 fighter bomber?

I remember we used these when we bombed Libya in '86. Do we still use these things? I don't remember seeing them used in the Persian Gulf War or in Afganistan. Seems like thise Fighter/Bomber must be a relic or something. What happened to it?
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Old June 25, 2002, 08:32 AM   #2
Christopher II
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The F-111 was a perfect example of trying to fufill too many different roles with one aircraft. It was supposed to be an air superiority fighter, interceptor, and strike fighter for the Air Force and Navy both. The requirements of the two services, however, were so different that the F-111 ended up as an engineering nightmare, overweight, overcomplicated, and unable to function as an air-to-air platform at all. It did, however, make a very good deep-penetration tactical bomber (kinda like the old Republic F-105.)

Not sure if we use them today, although in the '80s nuke-capable F/B-111s were stationed in Great Britian. The role of strike fighter has probably been taken over by the F-15E.

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Old June 25, 2002, 08:32 AM   #3
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There being used by the Australian Air Force, when they're operational that is
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Old June 25, 2002, 08:42 AM   #4
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Nah, they're pretty much gone. I don't think USAF flies any of them now, but, as deadman pointed out, they're still in use with some other countries. The USAF squadrons that flew F-111's received F-16's to replace them.
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Old June 25, 2002, 08:44 AM   #5
Scott Conklin
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The last F-111F

Retired officially 27 July, 1996.


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Old June 25, 2002, 09:39 AM   #6
Ceol Mhor
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Yes, they were used in Desert Storm. Here's a lengthy history of the aircraft: http://f-111.net/JoeBaugher.htm
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Old June 25, 2002, 02:06 PM   #7
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OOOPS!
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Old June 25, 2002, 02:07 PM   #8
D.W. Drang
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Flew the wings off, so to speak. Kinda like the Navy's doing with the EA6B.
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Old June 25, 2002, 04:33 PM   #9
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Just a note: the F-15E [2-seat version] took over the role of "deep interdiction medium bomber" from the Aardvark. A buddy of mine's dad worked over at NASA/Langley and got us in to see a crash test of a modified escape pod for the F-111 on the giant swing many years ago. Cool stuff.
I used to see a few F-111s still around being used as EW platforms , called "Spark-varts" as slang, but it's been a few years. Langley AFB just had their community appreciation day and there were no F-111s on the flight line... not even next to the old Vietnam/WWII planes. There WERE some of the new drones, including the ones armed with Hellfire missles.
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Old June 25, 2002, 05:26 PM   #10
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F-111 with the EW package is called the "Raven".
I think it still has use. It can keep up with the F-15's and still carry a delivery package while jamming radar and all the other good things it can do. Super sonic cluster bomb runs... Paveway bomb runs... etc.
Air Force just doenst like it any more because it's older than than the pilots...
but it's still good.
So is the F-4 Phantom. Israel still uses it to great effect.
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Old June 28, 2002, 09:33 AM   #11
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Super Jets To Cost Australia $8 Bn

Sydney Morning Herald
June 28, 2002
Craig Skehan


The Federal Government has moved to buy United States Joint Strike Fighter aircraft in its biggest defence acquisition, predicting that Australian industry will secure lucrative development and supply contracts.
Australia intends to buy up to 100 aircraft, at a cost of more than $8billion, which will replace Australia's aging F/A-18s and F-111s.

It was disclosed yesterday that the Prime Minister, John Howard, was earlier this month given a private briefing in Washington by executives from Lockheed Martin, the company developing the new planes.

But any hopes of bipartisanship on the planned purchase were dashed when the Labor Opposition claimed the Howard Government was giving a blank cheque for an aircraft still in the design stage.

The Opposition defence spokesman, Chris Evans, said yesterday the Government had locked Australia into buying the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter without a full evaluation of rivals such as the Eurofighter.

The US fighters represent a generational leap. In Australia's case, the sophisticated systems in the Joint Strike Fighter would link the cockpit to early warning aircraft, ground radar, satellites and Collins Class submarines.

However, with a shorter range than the aircraft they will replace, analysts said there would be additional pressure from within the Defence Force for Australia to acquire long-range cruise missiles. Critics maintain that such weapons would increase regional instability by fuelling an arms race.

Meanwhile, a Lockheed Martin rival, Boeing, is seeking to develop alternative unmanned aircraft which would allow military engagements without risking the lives of air crews.

The Defence Minister, Robert Hill, said yesterday that cabinet had approved an initial investment of $300million over 10 years to get Australia on the "ground floor" of the $400billion Joint Strike Fighter project.

The Government predicts Australian firms will win development and supply contracts worth more than $4billion.

But there will be stiff competition in this regard from other nations which have already joined the US project, including Britain, the Netherlands, Canada and Italy.

Senator Hill said yesterday that the intended total production of more than 3000 aircraft would contain the cost, at present estimated at about $80million each.

"It's large money and ultimately this will be the largest military procurement in Australia's history," he said.

But if the envisaged production levels are not met, as some analysts suggest is likely, there would be an inevitable cost blowout.

Senator Hill said that while there would be opportunities for Australia to opt out of the Joint Strike Fighter project, it was the "obvious intention" for Australia to acquire the aircraft, with a final decision in 2006.

Asked at a media conference if there would now be "no open competition" for the contract in four years' time, he replied: "I think it would be unfair to competitors to hold out a carrot that I don't think is really there."

Australia is not expected to take delivery of the first of the new aircraft until after 2012.

The Chief of the Air Force, Angus Houston, agreed that the F-111 had a longer range - 1000 nautical miles - than the Joint Strike Fighter, but said this could be extended for the new aircraft by fitting external fuel tanks and through air-to-air refuelling.

"What the Joint Strike Fighter will bring to the table is a capability that will fit beautifully into the structure we're developing in the Australian Defence Force," Air Marshal Houston said.
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Old June 29, 2002, 01:00 AM   #12
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Anyone remember when it was the TFX?

Back in the 60's the f-111 was still the TFX (Tactical Fighter eXperimental) and the DOD was going to make both the AF and Navy take it as their new tactical fighter.
I saw one make a test carrier landing on the Forrestal (nee Forest Fire for you old swabbies) in the Med once. They had to clear the whole deck. He hit the first wire and didn't stop until he was next to the island. For you non-vets, tht is WAAAAAY too far down the deck. The multiple committee add-ons had made it way to heavy to be considered as a carrier plane.
The politicians had there way, though, and the navy had to take some, too. AFAIK they never deployed on any carrier, though. Made a neat tactical BOMBER, but could never have been a good fighter.
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Old June 29, 2002, 02:26 AM   #13
radom
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Personaly I would think only a idiot would try to land a F-111 on a carrer, talk about ignoring the reality of life. Next idea the space shuttle?
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Old June 29, 2002, 02:46 AM   #14
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Don't say things like that in public. Some idiot in Congress may want to have NASA try it.
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Old June 29, 2002, 05:51 AM   #15
Long Path
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Folks, this thread has been a guilty pleasure for me, because I love airplanes, and just about everything about them.


But aren't we just wayyy O.T.?
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Old June 29, 2002, 09:55 AM   #16
Jamie Young
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Well you can't talk about an A-10 without talking about that big nasty cannon mounted on the front of it. Military planes are firearm related.


I just remember as a kid picking up a US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT with F-111's and F 14 bombing Libya. I remember reading about how the French:barf: wouldn't let us fly the 111's over their stupid country. I just can't remember hearing much about the F 111 ever since. Now I know


What kind of air to air capabilities did it have? What kind of "GUN"(Long Path ) did it have ?
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Old June 29, 2002, 10:09 AM   #17
C.R.Sam
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Long Path.
Respectfully disagree.
F-111 IS a weapons platform.
As is a banger with a Raven, only different.

Sam
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Old June 29, 2002, 10:50 AM   #18
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radom, if we can land a C-130 on a carrier, why not the space shuttle.....?
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