The F-111 Aardvark: Dangerous Power Of War Warrior!

The General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark was a low-altitude strike plane born out of a shotgun wedding between competing Air Force and Navy requirements—with Defense Secretary McNamara as the minister. Despite its troubled adolescence, it grew into a capable high-tech night bomber that lasted decades in service, noted for its sleekly elegant profile.

In the early 1960s, the Air Force came to realize that new, radar-guided surface-to-air missiles such as the Soviet SA-2 could reach its slow, high-altitude bombers. In response, it devised a new concept: a smaller long-range supersonic bomber that could skim close to the ground, below radar systems. At the same time, the U.S. Navy was looking for a fast, long-range carrier-based interceptor armed with air-to-air missiles that could take out Soviet bombers from a distance.

Newly appointed Defense Secretary Robert McNamara was convinced that a single aircraft could satisfy both requirements, thereby saving on development costs. The Army and Navy were less keen on compromising their visions, but were forced to cooperate on the so-called TFX program. A contract was awarded to General Dynamics in 1962. Because the design was smaller than Air Force strategic bombers, and the service eschewed the “attack” designation used by the Navy, it was designated with an “F” for fighter.
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8 thoughts on “The F-111 Aardvark: Dangerous Power Of War Warrior!

  1. Stop using computer narration. It is extremely annoying and makes the video difficult to watch. The pronunciation is off by quite a bit. Especially when it reads aircraft designation numbers.

  2. The best aircraft are those that don't try to be everything to all services. Once the Navy took the F-14 and the F-111 became an Air Force only aircraft it developed into a very capable aircraft. The decision to have the F-15 (AF) and F-14/F-18 (N) resulted in very capable aircraft suited their own service. I am concerned about the F-35.

  3. Pretty good post. I always get a kick out of folks who apply their own country's organization on the US; i.e. PLA is a prefix for all Chinese services. BTW the US Army had absolutely nothing to do the F-111.

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