Aussie Aardvarks Sent to Pasture

The Royal Australian Air Force last week retired the last F-111 fighter-bombers still in service anywhere in the world. The US and Australian air forces were the sole operators of the F-111, which entered RAAF service in 1973. USAF retired its last EF-111 Raven electronic warfare variants in 1998, leaving Australia the type’s sole operator. Australia operated a total of 43 Aardvarks, receiving an initial batch of 24, augmented by 19 transferred from USAF in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The RAAF has received 11 of the 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighters it is buying as a stopgap replacement for its F-111s, and is scheduled to receive another four Super Hornets this week. The nation will also procure the F-35 strike fighter. (Australian MOD release)