Indian Air ForceNews

IAF SU-30MKIs Travelling Into “Pitch Black” Are Refuelled By A French Tanker

Story Highlights
  • India is taking part in the drill for a second time. The three-week exercise will involve approximately 100 aircraft and 2500 personnel.
  • It should be noted that this is the first time that the air forces of Germany, Japan, and the Republic of Korea are all fully involved

An Indian Air Force Sukhoi 30MKI fighter plane was refuelled by a French Air Force A330 Phenix before landing in Darwin, Australia, to take part in the 17-nation simulation “Pitch Black.” For the same drill, the French air defence system has also been deployed.

French Air Force tweeted, “This is the first time France has refuelled Indian jets in flight during their projection.” It should be noted that the Indian Air Force has sent out four Sukhoi 30MKI fighters of Russian origin along with a C-17 cargo plane.

After taking part in the four-day bilateral exercise “Udarashakti” with its Malaysian counterparts in Kuantan, the aircraft made a straight flight to Australia.

The Australian Air Force is hosting the 17-nation biennial exercise “Pitch Black” in the Northern Territory, and it will start on August 19. This is the first time the drill has been done since the Covid-19 pandemic. The exercise’s most recent iteration took place in 2018.

“International participation in Exercise Pitch Black, from within the Indo-Pacific region and further abroad, provides all nations’ personnel with experience working with aircraft, systems, and work practises, in northern Australia’s unique environment, that would otherwise be unfamiliar,” said Pitch Black Exercise 2022 Director Engagement Group Captain Peter Wood in a statement.

The importance of practising combined air combat operations with our overseas allies, Captain Wood, is crucial to ensure that the Air Force is always prepared to assist the Australian Government.

This time around, countries like Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the UK, and the US are taking part in the exercise.

It should be noted that this is the first time that the air forces of Germany, Japan, and the Republic of Korea are all fully involved. India is taking part in the drill for a second time. The three-week exercise will involve approximately 100 aircraft and 2500 personnel.

 

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