New Delhi: Aiming to undertake simulated air combat exercises in a controlled environment and mutual exchange of best practices towards enhancing its operational capability, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will participate in 'Pitch Black' Exercise for first time, scheduled to happen from July 24 in Australia.
IAF to participate in 'Pitch Black' Exercise for first time in Australia
The exercise will conclude on August 18.
The IAF contingent consists of 145 air-warriors including Garud team, four Su-30MKI, one C-130 and one C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlift aircraft will be leaving for Australia on July 19 to participate into multi-lateral air combat exercise in Tindal and Darwin, an IAF spokesperson said.
The contingent will reach Australia via Indonesia.
The contingent will be led by Group Captain CUV Rao.
During the flight from India to Australia and back, Su-30MKI will carry out air to air refueling with IL-78 tankers, the spokesperson added.
After completion of the exercise, on its return leg from Darwin to Subang, Su-30 MKI will be refueled in air for the first time by RAAF KC-30A.
In Australia, the IAF will participate in the mega exercise, which will involve over 100 aircraft from around the globe.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) hosts this exercise once in every two years, which usually includes the US, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Singapore, Netherland, Thailand, New Zealand among others.
"The exercise will provide unique opportunity for exchange of knowledge and experience with these nations in a dynamic warfare environment, he added. Participation in multinational air exercise assumes importance in view of the continued engagement of the IAF with friendly foreign countries."
Over the last decade, the IAF has been actively participating in operational exercises hosted by various countries, wherein collaborative engagements undertaken with the best air forces in the world.
During the transit to Australia, IAF contingent will also have constructive engagement with Indonesian and Malaysian Air Forces.