Four Indian Air Force Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets and two C-17 heavy lift aircraft joined a 17-nation air combat exercise in Australia on Friday.
The three-week ‘Pitch Black’ exercise, organized by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), comes amid conflict in Ukraine and Chinese military muscle building in the Taiwan Strait following the president’s visit of the United States House, Nancy Pelosi, in Taipei.
More than 100 aircraft and 2,500 people from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, the Republic of Korea, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Thailand, United States and United Kingdom are taking part in the exercise in Australia’s Northern Territory.
The RAAF views the biennium as its “keystone” international engagement activity with the air forces of strategic partners and allies.
“A contingent from the Indian Air Force has arrived in Australia to participate in Exercise Pitch Black 2022 which is to be held from August 19 to September 8 in Darwin,” the Indian Air Force (IAF) said.
“The IAF contingent, led by YPS Group Captain Negi, comprises more than 100 air troops, deployed with four Su-30 MKI fighters and two C-17 aircraft,” the IAF said in a statement. communicated.
He said they would undertake multi-domain air combat missions in a complex environment and exchange best practices with participating air forces.
The last “Pitch Black” was performed in 2018. The 2020 edition of the exercise was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Exercise commander Air Commodore Tim Alsop said the return of Pitch Black marked a great opportunity to strengthen partnerships and promote regional stability.
The RAAF said the exercise recognized Australia’s strong relationship and the high value it placed on regional security and fostering close ties across the Indo-Pacific region.
“Pitch Black is a large force employment exercise, driven by fighter combat scenarios. This year, significant efforts were made to advance air-to-air refueling capability among many participating nations,” said Alsop in an RAAF statement.
“Air-to-air refueling is a force multiplier, providing critical reach for our combat aircraft. Working with many participating nations aims to increase our force projection and maximize our capability,” he added.
The RAAF said the exercise will include day and night flights and will be undertaken with due regard to minimizing impact on the local community and environment.
(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)