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Thursday, 20 September 1973
Page: 1408

Dr Forbes (BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice:

(1)   Has his attention been drawn to reports from United States Air Force sources which assert, on the basis of experience in the Vietnam War, that the F111 was far superior to any other aircraft in its capacity to hit targets with precision in all conditions including darkness and bad weather, and with significant saving in aircrew, aircraft and cost.

(2)   Does information available to him support this assessment of the performance of the aircraft.

Mr Barnard - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   I am aware of a comprehensive press briefing covering F111 aircraft operations in North Vietnam held at Nellis Air Force Base on 30 March 1973 by the former Commander of the 429th Tactical Fighter Squadron, in the course of which favourable comment was made on the effectiveness of the F111A aircraft in operations in Vietnam.

(2)   Although the RAAF did not have observers attached to theUSAF operational squadron referred to, RAAF crews flying the F111 report that the aircraft performs very creditably.

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