The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is planning to fit all its General Dynamics F-111 strike fighter fleet with the Link 16 tactical datalink.

This will take place under a proposed sixth phase to the ongoing Block Upgrade Program for the aircraft.

The upgrade is the subject of extensive definition studies by RAAF Capability Development planners and is tentatively scheduled to enter production in the second quarter of 2009. The full fleet modifications would be completed by mid 2013.

RAAF has also revealed plans to fit its F-111s with a satellite communications capability as part of the proposed Block Five Upgrade. Design works are expected to commence in 2002 with a prototype installation to be fitted by early 2003 and full fleet modifications beginning in 2005.

Source: Flight International