Air forces of 17 countries including India exercise in Australia

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New Delhi: During the ongoing war between Russia-Ukraine, the eyes of the world, including China, are on the world’s largest manoeuvre ‘Pitch Black’ running in the sea area of Australia. This war exercise between the air forces of 17 countries including Australia, India and America is taking place at a time when China is demonstrating its military strength in the Taiwan Strait, and America’s seventh fleet has reached Taiwan.

The ‘Pitch Black’ exercise is being hosted by Australia, which includes India, Germany, France, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, USA, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Republic of Korea, UK, Philippines, Thailand, Canada and the Netherlands. For the first time Japan, Germany and Republic of Korea are participating in this exercise. The exercise, conducted at the Bradshaw Field Training Area and Delamere Air Weapons Range of the Royal Australian Air Force, is one of the largest aerial training exercises in the world.

The exercise, conducted by the Royal Australian Air Force, began on August 19, when the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, returned from a visit to Taipei. The Indian Air Force’s fleet is led by Group Captain YPS Negi in the exercise, which lasts till September 8, and includes over 100 airmen. Apart from this, four Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft and two C-17 aircraft are also participating in this war exercise. This includes more than 100 aircraft and 2500 military personnel from 17 countries.

The purpose of this exercise, held every two years in Australia, is to test its preparedness for war. This time this exercise is being done during the day as well as at night. Significant efforts have been made this year to advance air-to-air refueling capacity among the many participating countries. Air Commodore Tim Alsop, Commander of the Exercise, said that the ‘Pitch Black’ exercise is an excellent opportunity to strengthen partnership between the Air Forces and promote regional stability. The Royal Australian Air Force said that this exercise will boost air force ties across the Indo-Pacific region.

At the same time, China is also doing its exercise by encircling Taiwan near the South China Sea, so the eyes of the world including China are on this ‘pitch black’ maneuver. Although it has already been clarified that this exercise has nothing to do with China. The last ‘Pitch Black’ was held in 2018. ‘Pitch Black’ to be held in the year 2020 was canceled due to Corona. India participated in ‘Pitch Black’ for the first time in 2018 along with Germany, Indonesia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, Canada, France and the United States.

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