The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is participating in a large-scale multilateral air combat exercise, codenamed Exercise Pitch Black in Darwin, Australia. Held from 1 to 22 Aug, this year's biennial exercise will see up to 100 aircraft and 2 300 personnel from seven participating nations pitting their air combat skills against simulated threats in a challenging and realistic training environment, through day and night. Of note, France and United Arab Emirates are the new players joining Australia, Singapore, Thailand, United States and New Zealand for this multilateral exercise.
The RSAF has deployed 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. During this exercise, our 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.