SINGAPORE - The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is participating in a large-scale multilateral air combat exercise in Darwin, Australia, involving 100 aircraft and 2 300 personnel from seven participating nations.
Codenamed Exercise Pitch Black , this year's biennial exercise will take place from Aug 1 to 22 and see the RSAF deploying about 300 personnel, six F-15SG and eight F-16C/D fighter aircraft, a Gulfstream 550 airborne early warning aircraft, and a KC-135R air-to-air refuelling aircraft.
Airmen from Australia, Thailand, United States, New Zealand, France and United Arab Emirates will also be put through the paces, pitting their combat skills against simulated threats in a day and night environment.
During this exercise, RSAF's F-16C/D fighter aircraft also conducted their first live drop of the GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II, a dual-mode guided bomb featuring a Global Positioning System (GPS)-aided Inertial Navigation System as well as a laser guidance system, allowing effective all-weather operational flexibility.
Established in 1990, Exercise Pitch Black seeks to enhance professionalism and interoperability among the participating forces, and foster closer rapport and mutual understanding among their personnel. The exercise is also testament to the good defence relations that Singapore shares with the other exercise participants.