Indian Air Force participates in Australia’s ‘Pitch Black Exercise’ for first time

An Indian Air Force contingent comprising of four Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft on July 24, 2018, landed at Darwin Air Force Base, Australia for participating in the Exercise Pitch Black-2018. The Indian Air Force contingent consists of 145 personnel, including four Sukhoi Su-30 MKIs, an Ilyushin tanker, an Ilyushin Il-78 tanker, a Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules, and a Boeing C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft. The contingent will undertake simulated air combat exercises in a controlled environment.

Key Highlights:-

1. As part of military diplomacy and to reassure India’s commitment to regional peace and security, IAF engaged with the Indonesian and Malaysian Air Forces while en-route to Australia.
2. By navigating across the ocean, with a precise air to air engagement with tanker aircraft and ability to operate over the international airspace, the Indian Air Force reaffirms that it would always play the progressive role in showcasing India’s military capability.
3. IAF engagement with Indonesian and Malaysian Air Forces and its participation in the Exercise Pitch Black-18 once again showcases its capability to be an effective net security provider in the region.

The Exercise Pitch Black is a multinational exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The exercise involves over 100 aircraft from around the globe and provides a unique opportunity to the air-warriors to operate in a dynamic warlike environment. The exercise features a range of realistic, simulated threats which can be found in a modern battle-space environment and is an opportunity to test and improve force integration. Exercise Pitch Black began in 1981 and has expanded gradually to become the hemisphere’s largest air force training exercise.

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