F-111 Flyby Down Under

Australian release:

DEFENCE MEDIA ALERT
MSPA 427/09

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

F-111 FLYPAST TO MARK AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE ACADEMY GRADUATION PARADE

WHAT: Flypast by an F-111 strike aircraft during the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) Graduation Parade.

WHERE: ADFA, Northcott Drive, Canberra ACT.
WHEN: 10:20am Thursday, 10 December 2009.

Background:
An F-111 strike aircraft from Number 6 Squadron, will fly over the Australian Defence Force Academy on Thursday, 10 December 2009, as young graduating officers from Navy, Army and Air Force participate in their final Academy parade before continuing on the next stage of their military careers.

The aircraft will approach ADFA from the east at a height of 500 feet, and will pass over the Graduation Parade at 10:20am, local time.

F-111s will be retired from the Royal Australian Air Force in December 2010 when their replacement – the F/A-18F Super Hornet – becomes operational.

Hope they get the full treatment:

An air-to-air right side view of an F-111 aircraft trailing flames during a demonstration for Open House '83. Photographer's Name: Harrison Location: EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE Date Shot: 10/30/1983

An air-to-air right side view of an F-111 aircraft trailing flames during a demonstration for Open House '83. Photographer's Name: Harrison Location: EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE Date Shot: 10/30/1983

The F-111 has never really been considered a “great” plane, and it had its share of problems over the years. And though the USAF has other options that can perform the missions that the Aardvark used to, I’ve always thought the F-111 was a perfect fit for Australia and don’t see how F-18s, with a far smaller combat radius, can really fill its shoes Down Under.

Comments

  1. GeekLethal,

    Australia actually has a lot of interesting geology and greenery — stuff you don’t see much of in Hollyweird movies — so there’s lots of interesting stuff to see.

  2. The east has small mountains and greenery, across the north is rainforest.

    The rest is variations of desert, Ayers Rock, bungle bungles stand out. Boring I think. That’s why Qantas has a good reputation, not much to run into.

    Australia should have FB-22’s to replace the F-111’s, otherwise superhornets are about as close as you can get (new and American).

    B-1 or B-2 would be overkill. Just imagine what China would say?

    I was trying to imagine if you put all the F-111 good bomber stuff in an F-22? Ground hugging radar etc?

  3. Actually since the mid 1990’s, the F111’s have relied on the F18A’s to escort them in any strike action, there’by they have been restricted to the range of the F18A’s with tanker top-ups.

  4. I wonder how the F-111 would have fared with the F-15/F-16/F14D class of engines?

    Also, I was surprised when they retired the EF-111. I always thought it was superior to the EA-6.

  5. ER,

    The F-15E Strike Eagle or Su-30 Strike Flanker would be better suited to the RAAF’s needs, because;

    1- Both are more affordable (you can buy more than 4 F-15Es/Su-30MKs for the cost of an F-22.
    2- Both are in production.
    3- Both are MUCH more maintainable than an FB-22.
    4- Both have a higher payload and more weapon stations than an FB-22.
    5- Both are more than adequate for all existing and potential threats to Oceania.
    6- Both have sufficient range on internal fuel.
    7- Both are faster and more maneuverable than an FB-22.
    8- Both can carry a more diverse selection of munitions than an FB-22.
    9- Both have a much wider industrial base for upgrades and maintenance than the FB-22.
    10- Both are already in widespread service, including in air forces friendly to Australia.

    Also, if brute force is the watchword, there’s also the Su-34 Fullback… but if a more subtle approach is required, the F-15SE Silent Eagle has Stealth Capability.

  6. Problem is,

    Australia likes buying new, untested, expensive things that need bugs ironed out, that need to last past their natural lives.

    I just thought the FB-22 might fit the bill.

Comments are closed