Fighter jets Sukhoi-30MKI and midair refueller IL-78 — both of Russian origin – along with US-made heavy-lift plane C-17 will be fielded by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in an upcoming 17-nation military exercise in Australia.
Called “Pitch Black 2022”, the exercise will be conducted from August 19 to September 8. The three-week-long military drill, to be conducted in Northern Territory of Australia, will involve over 100 aircraft and 2,500 military personnel.
The IAF team took off today. En route, the team will stop at Malaysia for a bilateral exercise. This year’s participants include India, the US, Australia, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, the UAE and the UK. The list includes the Quadrilateral countries – India, Japan, US and Australia. The exercise will also see participation of key NATO countries, including the UK, France and Germany. Germany, Japan and South Korea are participating for the first time. A biennial exercise, “Pitch Black” features a range of realistic and simulated threats that can be found in a modern battle-space environment and is an opportunity for militaries to test and improve integration.