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Tuesday, 15 December 1992
Page: 5121

(Question No. 2414)

Senator O'Chee asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 4 November 1992:

  (1) What model of F-111 aircraft will be acquired by the Australian Government under the proposed purchase from the United States of America outlined recently by the Minister.

  (2) What avionics suite will be provided with these aircraft and, in particular, what model of bomb guidance system will be provided.

  (3) What modifications will be necessary to the wings to ensure the newly acquired aircraft will be compatible with those already in service.

Senator Robert Ray —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

  As I foreshadowed to the Senate on 15 October 1992, a Defence team has just visited the US to identify the costs and availability of ex-USAF aircraft and to assess the options for acquiring, storing and operating these aircraft in the RAAF. Among the matters being examined are the preferred model, the avionics fit, maintenance and logistic support implications, any possible modifications and project costs. The results of the team's investigations and recommendations will be finalised shortly. When I and the Government have had the opportunity to consider the options, I will be in a position to answer the senator's question.