Was the Navy’s F-111 Really That Bad?

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Was the Navy’s F-111 Really That Bad?

Post by koimaster » September 2nd 2021, 7:19am

The controversy swirling around the F-35 joint strike fighter echoes previous battles fought over aircraft tasked with serving more than one master. Perhaps the central question in today’s debate is whether a single airplane designed to perform many missions adequately is a better and truly more affordable choice than several airplanes, each designed to perform a single mission flawlessly. In 1968, the Navy had an unequivocal answer: No. But were they right?

In the early 1960s both the Navy and the Air Force were shopping for new combat aircraft. The Navy needed a carrier-based interceptor capable of engaging Soviet bombers hundreds of miles away, before they could launch long-range anti-ship missiles; the Air Force required a supersonic, ground-hugging penetrator that could duck in under enemy radar and dodge surface-to-air missiles.

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