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New Delhi Correspondent
The Indian Air Force will for the first time participate with fighter aircraft in a military exercise in Australia which is scheduled to be held from July 24 18 August 18 in a “dynamic warfare environment.”
The exercise, codenamed “Pitch Black”, is a biennial multi-national large force employment warfare exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and will see the participation of over 100 aircraft from around the globe, said a statement of the Indian Defence Ministry on Wednesday.
The Indian Air Force contingent includes 145 personnel and three types of aircraft. The contingent would aim to undertake simulated air combat exercises in a controlled environment and mutual exchange of best practices towards enhancing IAF operational capability, the statement added.
During the flight from India to Australia and back, the IAF’s fighter Su-30 MKI aircraft will carry out air-to-air refueling with IL-78 tankers.
After completion of the exercise, on its return leg from Darwin in Australia to Subang in Indonesia, Su-30 MKI will be refueled in the air for the first time by a Royal Australian Air Force plane.
“The exercise will provide unique opportunity for exchange of knowledge and experience with these nations in a dynamic warfare environment,” said the statement adding the “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 are undertaken with the best air forces in the world.

During the transit to Australia, IAF contingent will have “constructive engagement” with Indonesian and Malaysian Air Forces, according to the statement.