Saturday ‘Vark Blogging

There was a time, a generation ago, when Discovery Channel had interesting shows.



Forty-five years ago, when the F-111 was first introduced, it was one of two all-weather precision strike aircraft in the world, the other being the A-6. Of course, back then “precision strike” meant being able to simply find a target such as a bridge or power plant at night or in bad weather. The F-111 used a radar bomb delivery computer that was much more accurate than visual delivery, but the bombs themselves weren’t guided, and precision was something of a relative term.

Twenty years ago when this first aired, if you wanted to deliver laser guided bombs or other precision guided weapons, your choice of platform was pretty much either the F-111, the A-6, or one of the then new F-15E Strike Eagles. The F-117s would be busy elsewhere.

Today, with improvements in targeting pods, and the introduction of the GPS guided JDAM, just about everything with wings can be a precision strike aircraft.

2 thoughts on “Saturday ‘Vark Blogging”

  1. They reference a problem with the wings in the video. What they didn’t say is that they eventually brought every F-111 through the General Dynamics plant in Waco, TX to fix the problem. I remember as a kid hearing the rumbling noise from the tests being conducted on the one elevens and we lived across town several miles from the airfield. They also brought every single B-58 through there before they went to the bone yard, pretty cool stuff for a kid who was an airplane nut.

  2. I remember the first article in the European Stars and Stripes when the Vark got sent to ‘nam for the first time. Made a big deal of it, they did. The TFX shenanigans were behind it and the Pilots raved about it.

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