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SOURCE: AFI

The Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent has set off for Exercise Pitch Black 24, a major multinational air combat drill held in the southern hemisphere. The contingent made a transit halt in Indonesia, with Su-30MKI fighter jets landing at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport.

The Indian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr. Sandeep Chakravorty, extended a warm welcome to the IAF contingent. This stopover highlights the strong military ties between India and Indonesia.

These impressive long-range deployments are made possible by the IAF’s IL-78 tankers. Their aerial refueling capabilities ensure the Su-30MKI fighters can reach their destination and participate fully in the exercise.

Adding another layer of significance to this mission is the participation of Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth. One of the first female fighter pilots qualified to fly the Su-30MKI, Kanth’s presence marks a historic moment for the IAF and demonstrates the growing role of women in combat aviation.

Exercise Pitch Black offers a valuable platform for the IAF to hone its combat skills, train alongside international partners, and showcase its growing airpower capabilities. The participation of both the Su-30MKI fighters and the IL-78 tankers underlines India’s commitment to regional security and its ability to project force over long distances.