Hornets Taking Part in Pitch Black 2024, Part 2

God speed and safe return. RMAF chief General Asghar Khan waving to the contingent as they formed over the airbase for the trip to Australia. RMAF pictures unless noted.

SHAH ALAM: RMAF is sending three F/A-18D Hornets and a single A400M to take part int the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Pitch Black 2024 (PB) exercise starting this Friday. The PB contingent was sent off from the Butterworth airbase today by RMAF chief General Asghar Khan.

RMAF is among 21 countries taking part in the air exercise which ends on August 2. According to RMAF, thirty-seven officers and sixty-six other ranks made up the PB contingent which is headed by Colonel Hasfa Nyzam Abdul Hamid.

To Oz we go.

The three Hornets taking part are tail numbers M45-01, M45-05 and M45-06 while the single A400M is M54-01. Back in 2018, the last time RMAF in the flying segment of the exercise, five Hornets took part accompanied by a single A400M.
The three Hornets of No 18 Skdn and the single A400M from No 8 Skdn.

The release from RMAF:

π’π„π‘π€πŒπ€πˆ πŸ‘πŸ• ππ„π†π€π–π€πˆ 𝐃𝐀𝐍 πŸ”πŸ” π€ππ†π†πŽπ“π€ π“π”πƒπŒ 𝐁𝐄𝐑𝐋𝐄𝐏𝐀𝐒 πŠπ„ π€π”π’π“π‘π€π‹πˆπ€ ππ€π†πˆ π„πŠπ’π„π’π€πˆπ’ ππˆπ“π‚π‡ ππ‹π€π‚πŠ πŸπŸŽπŸπŸ’
BUTTERWORTH, 8 Julai 2024 – Panglima Tentera Udara, Jeneral Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Mohd Asghar Khan bin Goriman Khan TUDM telah menyempurnakan acara Send Off Kontijen Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM) ke Eksesais Pitch Black 2024 di Australia bertempat di Pangkalan Udara Butterworth pada hari ini.
Eksesais Pitch Black merupakan eksesais pertempuran udara utama dan terbesar yang diadakan dua tahun sekali oleh Australia melibatkan pelbagai negara. Eksesais ini akan dilaksanakan bermula pada 12 Julai hingga 2 Ogos 2024 yang dioperasikan secara berpusat di Pangkalan Udara Royal Australia Air Force Darwin, Tindal dan Amberley.
TUDM telah menyertai eksesais ini sebanyak tiga (3) kali bermula pada tahun 2008, 2018 dan 2022. Walau bagaimanapun, pada tahun 2022, ianya hanya melibatkan penyertaan anggota tanpa apa-apa aset. Pada tahun ini merupakan penyertaan TUDM buat kali keempat (4). Penglibatan TUDM bagi eksesais ini terdiri daripada 37 pegawai dan 66 anggota Lain-Lain Pangkat (LLP) dengan tiga (3) buah pesawat tempur F/A-18 D Hornet bersama sebuah pesawat angkut A400M. Kontijen TUDM akan diketuai oleh Kolonel Hasfa Nyzam bin Abdul Hamid TUDM selaku Ketua Deligasi.
Pada edisi kali ini, eksesais ini akan menjadi penganjuran terbesar sepanjang 43 tahun dilaksanakan dimana akan disertai oleh 20 buah negara melibatkan 140 buah pesawat pelbagai varian dengan kehadiran kira-kira 4,435 orang penyertaan anggota.
Antara negara-negara yang akan menyertai Pitch Black 2024 ialah Amerika Syarikat, Perancis, Jerman, Sepanyol, Itali, Kanada, New Zealand, Fiji, Korea, Jepun, Singapura, Filipina, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei dan beberapa lagi negara.
Pelaksanaan Eksesais Pitch Black ini akan meliputi skala latihan berspektrum penuh yang menampilkan pelbagai ancaman realistik dan simulasi yang boleh ditemui dalam persekitaran ruang pertempuran moden.
Semasa eksesais ini, TUDM akan terlibat dalam latihan Force Integration Phase (Latihan pertempuran udara iaitu Basic Fighter Maneuvers (BFM)), Air Combat Tactic (Latihan pertempuran udara melalui konsep Beyond Visual Range), Large Force Employment Phase (Menggabungkan semua aset pejuang, Multi Role Transport Tanker dan Command and Control (C2) melaksanakan Integrated Air Operation) dan Air to Air Refueling.
Pembabitan TUDM dalam eksesais berskala besar ini secara tidak langsung dapat memberikan pengetahuan baru kepada anak kapal dan krew pesawat yang terlibat dari segi perancangan dan pelaksanaan eksesais yang penuh mencabar.
Dengan penyertaan TUDM dalam eksesais ini juga mampu menyumbang kepada peningkatan tahap kesiagaan operasi, kebolehkendalian (Interoperability) aset-aset strategik milik TUDM, penguasaan taktik peperangan udara selain meningkatkan kapasiti dan kemahiran pegawai dan anggota TUDM yang terlibat.
Terdahulu, Panglima Tentera Udara turut menyempurnakan pemakaian β€˜patches’ Pitch Black 2024 kepada pegawai dan anggota yang terlibat dalam eksesais ini serta memberikan kata-kata semangat kepada mereka.

The Pitch Black 2024 contingent at the sent-off ceremony.

The release did not mention it, but it is likely the RMAF contingent will land in Bali, Indonesia, later today for an over-night stay, before flying to Australia on Tuesday. They did this in 2018.
The six crew members of the three Hornets which left for Australia today.

It is interesting to note that the Italian Air Force and the Luftwaffe taking part in the same exercise had also separate stop-overs in Subang airbase on their way to Australia.

The Pitch Black 2024 patch.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2223 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Our 3 Hornets look immaculate and well kept like just out of the production line.

  2. IINM these are the Hornets that just came out of local SLEP, so likely they also got a new paintjob. Correct me if Im wrong.

  3. Anyway… the Kuwaitis are upgrading their classic Hornets as delivery of Super Hornets have been delayed…Do you read this as good news? If the RMAF were to acquire them as the interim strike fighter, than that means they won’t need upgrading anymore…. or will it mean that Kuwait will then sell them at a higher price? Good or bad?

  4. @TomTom
    More towards software upgrades & maintenance support, no significant hardware changes it seems, looking at the DSCA;
    The government of Kuwait has requested to buy continuation of contractor engineering technical services; contractor maintenance services; Hush House (an enclosed, noise-suppressed aircraft jet engine testing facility) support services; and Liaison Office Support for the Government of Kuwait’s F/A-18 C/D/E/F program, to include: F/A-18 avionics software upgrades; engine component improvements; ground support equipment; engine and aircraft spares and repair parts; publications and technical documentation; Engineering Change Proposals (ECPs); US government and contractor programmatic, financial, and logistics support; maintenance and engineering support; F404/F414 engine and engine test cell support; and other related elements of logistical and programme support,” the DSCA notification said.

    The more damning is that they might not sell us at all, if their going to use them in parallel with the SH thats supposed to replace them in service.

  5. And meanwhile, on a different note, according to The Aviationist dated 12.07.2024, the US wants to ‘get rid’ of some of the A-10 and transfer some to Jordan.

    Heck, it would awesome for us to get some but then with our track record for mantaining pre-owned, better not to be.

  6. We have no use for A-10s that is the reason we should not even think of getting it not because of anything else. It must be noted when we bought the Skyhawks, the A-10s were offered to us to be equipped with anti-ship missiles….

  7. Zainal – β€œget some but then with our track record for mantaining pre-owned”

    Which isn’t that bad. No issues with the ex RAF Bulldogs and ex Sing Alo 3s. Why on earth would we want to be the only user of the A-10; a one trick pony.

    We had originally set out sights on for A-7 but eventually settled on the A-4.

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