Home' City West News : June 16th 2010 Contents CityWest [ 17 ]
ejections. Sadly, in the remaining ve
crews were killed.
A8-126 also had the distinction of
being the rst F-111 to be modi ed in
1978 for photographic reconnaissance.
A major upgrade to the F-111 began
in the mid-1980s, with the Pavetack
weapons system, allowing the aircraft
to carry the Harpoon sea-skimming
missile and Paveway laser-guided
bombs. This was a quantum leap in
capability for the F-111, able to 'toss'
bombs without over ying the target
and with greatly improved precision.
With Harpoon, F-111s nally had a
chance in maritime strike. Previously, it
was virtually a 'suicide mission', having
to get inside two nautical miles to
launch their bombs. Acquisition of an
additional 15 F-111G model aircraft in
the early 1990s provided the airframe
numbers that took the load o the
Other upgrades followed, such as the
Avionics Upgrade Program and the
rst true stando weapon, the rocket-
powered AGM-142 missile with 340
kilograms of high explosive.
The role of the F-111 changed
signi cantly over its life of type: from
the single-ship 'unarmed and unafraid'
bombing role to operations in large
strike packages with ghter support, air
refuelling and AEW&C support.
The F-111 now has better self-
protection systems, and with night
vision goggles for aircrews operations
at night can be below the level of the
It's ironic that the F-111 is at its most
capable when it is about to be retired,
which is unique in air power history.
Nevertheless, the F-111's time has run
almost out, with its aging airframe and
high maintenance costs.
While the sentiment for the F-111 is as
strong as ever, it will be retired later this
year - and the process of transition has
begun, with the arrival of the rst F/A-
18F Super Hornets heralding the end of
the F-111 era.
Left: An F-111 on a bombing run on
Puckapunyal weapons range.
Below: The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom
landing at RAAF Amberley
Australian Defence Credit Union
Au st ralian Defence Credit Unio n
Australian D efen ce Cr edit Union
Save with a 3.99% p.a. 6 months
balance transfer to the ADCU Low
Rate Visa Card.*
Together with an everyday
purchase rate of 10.99% p.a.,
we can help lower your credit card
Visit your local Enoggera, Oakey
or Amberley branch or for more
information visit www.adcu.com.au
or call 1300 13 23 28.
lower your interest payments with 3.99% p.a.
* Terms and Conditions available on request. Fees and charges apply to the use of your Credit Card.
Australian Defence Credit Union Ltd ABN 48 087 649 741 AFSL No. 237 988
CELEBRATING 70 YEARS
Links Archive June 2nd 2010 June 30th 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page