Remembering The Vark: F-111 Delivered Bombs On Target – Does It Hold Lessons For The F-35?

HAROLD HUTCHISON

cutaway

Performance

  • Maximum speed: Mach 2.5 (1,650 mph, 2,655 km/h) at altitude; Mach 1.2 (915 mph, 1,473 km/h) at sea level
  • Ferry range: 3,700 mi (3,210 nmi, 5,950 km) ; with external drop tanks
  • Service ceiling: 66,000 ft (20,100 m)
  • Rate of climb: 25,890 ft/min (131.5 m/s)
  • Wing loading:
    • Spread: 126.0 lb/ft² (615.2 kg/m²)
    • Swept: 158 lb/ft² (771 kg/m²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.61
  • Lift-to-drag ratio: 15.8 (subsonic L/Dmax)

Armament

  • Guns: 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61A1 Vulcan 6-barreled Gatling cannon in weapons bay (seldom fitted)
  • Hardpoints: 9 in total (8× under-wing, 1× under-fuselage between engines) plus 2 attach points in weapons bay with a capacity of 31,500 lb (14,300 kg) and provisions to carry combinations of:
    • Missiles:
  • AGM-69 SRAM thermonuclear air-to-surface missile
  • AGM-130 stand-off bomb
    • Bombs:
  • Free-fall general-purpose bombs including Mk 82 (500 lb/227 kg), Mk 83 (1,000 lb/454 kg), Mk 84 (2,000 lb/907 kg), and Mk 117 (750 lb/340 kg)
  • Cluster bombs
  • BLU-109 (2,000 lb/907 kg) hardened penetration bomb
  • Paveway laser-guided bombs, including 2,000 lb (907 kg) GBU-10, 500 lb (227 kg) GBU-12 and GBU-28, specialized 4,800 lb (2,200 kg) penetration bomb
  • BLU-107 Durandal runway-cratering bomb
  • GBU-15 electro-optical bomb
  • B61 or B43 nuclear bombs
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