The FB-111A originated from the USAF's TFX
program when the General Dynamic Co. in association with Grumman Aircraft
was selected in 1962 to develop a variable-geometry tactical fighter.
The US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara officially announced on
December 10, 1965 that Strategic Air Command would receive the FB-111A to
replace early versions of the Boeing B-52 and the B-58A "Hustler".
The Air Force had initially planned to order 263
of the "FBs" to equip 14 squadrons, including 20 to be used for combat
crew training and 33 for support and testing. Seen as an 'interim
bomber' pending the Advanced Manned Strategic Aircraft (AMSA) or Rockwell
B-1A, the new Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird slashed the order to 112
and finally reduced it to 76 . Those 76 FB-111As funded in FY 1967
trough 1969 wounded up costing $1.2 billion, 700 percent of the planned
cost of the originally envisaged 263 SAC-models. The official
acceptance ceremony for the Strategic Air Command took place on October 8,
to base the FB-111A were soon established and New England was chosen to
place the aircraft closer to the Soviet Union via polar navigation routes
and also closer to Europe.
Need info on performance.
The break-up of the Soviet Union and near end of the "Cold
War" led to the the plane being withdrawn from strategic service. 28
FB-111As converted into tactical configuration and redesignated F-111G for
TAC use were transferred to the 428th TFTS at Cannon AFB, NM as RTU
trainers. Some were sent to air museums, but the rest were scrapped.