New Delhi: India will send four Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets, a C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlifter and an IL-78 mid-air refueling aircraft for the major ‘Pitch Black’ air combat exercise. Australia This month, with about 100 aircraft and 2,500 military personnel from 17 countries.
pitch dark comes soon after exercise Indian Air Force It also sent Sukhoi fighters and C-17s for a “strategic leadership program” at the Egyptian Air Force (EAF) Weapon School at Cairo West airbase in June–July, in which its aircrew also participated as instructors.
Apart from Australia and India, this year’s Pitch Black exercise will include the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and UAE.
Exercise Director Engagement Group Captain Peter Wood said, “International participation in Pitch Black, both within the Indo-Pacific region and abroad, provides personnel from all countries with experience working with aircraft, systems and work practices in the unique environment of northern Australia. does.”
Since the IAF last participated in the Pitch Black exercise in 2018, India and Australia have cranked up their military ties and engagement in a major way as an important pillar of the bilateral `Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’.
Australia has also become a regular participant in India’s top Malabar naval exercise alongside the US and Japan, with the four “quad” nations declaring their intention to prevent any “coercion” in the Indo-Pacific while keeping a firm eye on China. is of.
Australia’s Deputy PM Richard Marles said during his visit here in June that China’s massive military build-up and its persistence in the Indo-Pacific were the “biggest security concern” for both Australia and India.
Noting that India and Australia were now as ‘strategically aligned’ as before in history, Marles called for the two countries to work even closer to protect the global rules-based order that brings prosperity to the region. was stressed.
Referring to the more than two-year-long military confrontation between India and China in eastern Ladakh, Marles said, “When we look at what happened on the Line of Actual Control, we are seeing that one country (China) is demanding. Not through established rules to settle their disputes, but through the use of power and force.”