The General Dynamics F-111 is a medium-range interdictor and tactical strike aircraft that also fills the roles of strategic bomber, reconnaissance and electronic warfare in its various versions. Developed in the 1960s and first entering service in 1967, the United States Air Force (USAF) variants were officially retired by 1998. The remaining operator of the F-111 is the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
Politics and defense budgets balanced the future of the F-111 on a knife edge more than once. Costly and controversial, the aircraft was shunned by foreign governments, but after two combat tours in Vietnam, its potential was recognized.
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