The Way We Designate Military Aircraft Is All Screwed Up
War Is Boring
1811

It is my understanding that in certain political climates it is sometimes easier

to procure funding for a “fighter” aircraft than a “bomber” aircraft.

While early models of the F-111 indeed had a gun, it was ultimately

removed to accommodate targeting hardware eg F-111A-F-111F.

NavAir had a much better scheme for designating aircraft that told the initiated almost everything they needed to know about the airframe in question. Naturally it was discontinued after two congress-critters were

arguing about the F-110 and the F4H fighter jet….which of course turned out to be the same aircraft more or less.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1922_United_States_Navy_aircraft_designation_system