In the 1960s, General Dynamics and United States Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara aimed to establish American air superiority by developing multi-class aircraft capable of flying under enemy radar. For this purpose, McNamara has created what is known as the Tactical Fighter Experimental Program, or TFX.
In 1964, the first prototype of the General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark will be completed. The most interesting feature of the aircraft was its variable geometry wing which could be moved in mid-flight to reduce the wingspan of the aircraft and make them form a triangular shape. Although these wing designs would continue to power modern jets, such as the F-15 and F-35, they added complexity and space in the 1960s.
Defective parts due to poor manufacturing and high-strength requirements from the Navy’s F-111B model delayed the development of the Aardvark until 1968. Initially, 159 F-111s were delivered to the Southeast Asian region, where they would eventually be used for test flights and bombing raids against North Vietnamese, but the results were negative.
Instead, the military will use the F-100 Super Saber and F-105 Thunderchief to attack the bombers at the beginning of the war, although the F-111 will be used later. Although the F-111 would be used extensively by the United States and its allies after 1973, it did not have a good start.