Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has received the last of 28 F-111 jet aircraft following servicing by Boeing, under the deeper maintenance programme.

The F-111s are equipped with variable-sweep wings, afterburning turbofan engines, and automated terrain following radar for low-level, high-speed flight.

RAAF started the maintenance programme in 1974, which was transitioned to Boeing in 2001 for a total 500,000-plus work hours.

The maintenance was performed on the F-111s after 525 hours of flight time and included removal of wings, engines, the undercarriage and other major components for servicing or replacement.

The air force will retire the F-111 at the end of 2010, and replace them with 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets.

Boeing will conduct light maintenance activities on the aircraft, up to the time of withdrawal.

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