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Wednesday, 3 June 1970

Mr Klugman (PROSPECT, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice:

In regard to the F-111 aircraft ordered by Australia 6 years ago, is it a fact that:

(a)   the cruising range is 2,750 miles as against a specified range of 4,180 miles;

(b)   the maximum high altitude speed is 2.2 times the speed of sound instead of 2.5 times as specified;

(c)   the supersonic dash distance is 30 miles as against 210 miles in the specification;

(d)   the acceleration from 0.9 to 2.2 mach is 4 minutes instead of the specified 1.45 minutes, and

(e)   the take-off weight has increased by 20% to 82,500 lb.

Mr Malcolm Fraser (WANNON, VICTORIA) - The answer to the honourable members' question is as follows:

The performance details mentioned in the question relate to the USAF F-111 A model aircraft. The USAF design criteria defined a specific mission for the weapons and flying a specific profile in relation to speed and weight. The RAAF F-111C will not have special weapons, but will carry conventional bombs, and so performance comparisons between the two aircraft are not appropriate. In addition, the RAAF has had certain modifications made to the F-111 A, such as extended wings and provisions for additional fuel, which gives the F-111C an improved range over the F-111 A.

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