New Delhi: The Indian Air Force is scheduled to participate with fighter aircraft in Exercise Pitch Black 2018 (PB-18) in Australia, from July 24 to August 18 2018. This would the IAF’s first participation in such an event.
This exercise is a biennial multi-national large force employment warfare exercise which is being hosted by the RAAF or the Royal Australian Air Force.
The IAF contingent comprises of 145 air-warriors including the Garud team. It also includes Su-30 MKI Fighters, One C-130 and one heaby lift C-17 aircraft.
The team will have to participate in simulated air combat exercises in a controlled environment and will also exchange mutually, the best practices towards enhancing IAF operational capability. The leader of the contingent is Group Captain CUV Rao VM.
During the flight from India to Australia and back, Su-30 MKI will carry out air to air refueling with IL-78 tankers.
After completion of the exercise, on its return leg from Darwin to Subang, Su-30 MKI will be refuelled 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 exercise will provide unique opportunity for exchange of knowledge and experience with these nations in a dynamic warfare environment. Participation in multinational air exercise assumes importance in view of the continued engagement of the IAF with friendly foreign countries.
Over the last decade, 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.