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F-111C

F4 Phantom II

"The F-111 is the most significant aircraft in the RAAF history. When it finally arrived in 1973, after 10 years of controversy, it gave Australia for the first time a genuine, independent strategic strike capability. More than any other system, the F-111 has underwritten the notion of defence self-reliance and the strategy of controlling the air-sea gap". Alan Stephens, Going Solo.

The F-111 aircraft proved to be the most effective long range combat aircraft produced. In service with the USAF, the aircraft proved itself in operations in Vietnam, Iraq and Libya. With the update of the avionics and navigation/bombing system and the provision of precision guided munitions (PGMs), the RAAF F-111C was the most lethal and effective combat aircraft in Australia's area of strategic interest.

Considerable acrimony had arisen in the 1960s and 70s over the F-111C purchase in both USA and Australia, in a number of areas of government, Opposition, USAF, even the RAAF, and bureaucracies. The final decision on acceptance of the F-111 followed extensive RAAF engineering assessments of the structural integrity of the aircraft and the life expected with the new re-designed wing-carry-through-box. The doomsayers and negative, ill-informed media were proved dramatically wrong.

Read the history of the F-111C in RAAF service: F-111C

F4 Phantom II