SHAH ALAM: RMAF-IAF Joint Exercise. RMAF and IAF ended its first ever bilateral exercise launching two Sukhoi Su-30MKM and Su-30MKI Flankers each from Subang airport this morning. Two Flankers – one each from both air forces – conducted a flypast over the Subang airbase to mark the end of the exercise – Elang Shakti called by IAF and Hop by RMAF – which started yesterday.
One pilot from each air force flew in one of each other Flanker in the flypast. The field training exercise was conducted on the occasion of the stop over by the IAF contingent – four Flankers and two airlifters – C-17 and C-130J – from participating in Exercise Pitch Black in Australia, from Aug. 20 to 23.
Being the first bilateral interaction between two air forces, one cannot simply dismissed what had happened during the last few days. Hopefully this will be the start of a regular interaction which will culminate into a beneficial relationships to both air forces.
It is likely that future inbteraction between RMAF and IAF will be held either at Butterworth or Kuantan airbases which have the infrastructure to support sophisticated air exercises like Cope Taufan and Bersama Lima.
Meanwhile, the five F/A-18D Hornets which took part in Ex Pitch Black returned to Butterworth airbase on Aug. 20. The Hornets flew home via Bali, Indonesia. Apart from the Hornets, a single A400M also took part in the exercise
Lets hope funding will be made available in the near future for more of such exercises.
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