Indian Flankers In Town

Indian AIr Force Su-30MKI taking off from Darwin airbase. RAAF picture

SHAH ALAM: Indian Flankers in Town. The Indian Air Force contingent which took part in Exercise Pitch Black in Australia for the last three weeks, arrived in Subang today. The stop-over had been planned since the IAF announced it was to take part in Australian exercise last year. Ex Pitch Black which started on July 24 ended on Aug. 17.

The IAF aircraft which arrived today was four Sukhoi Su-30MKI Flanker fighters and two airlifters, a C-17A Globemaster and a C-130J Hercules. The Sukhois are from the 102 Sqdn Trisonics from Chabua air station, Assam, India.

IAF Flankers breaking over Darwin airport during Ex Pitch Black. RAAF picture

As of 2pm however only the Globemaster and four Sukhois had landed at Subang with the Hercules arriving later in the afternoon.

IAF Globemaster on finals to Subang

A Royal Australian Air Force KC-30A (Airbus A330 MRTT) which provided aerial refueling support for the Flankers also landed Subang shortly after the arrival of their IAF contingent which flew direct from Darwin, Australia.

RAAF KC-30A which supported the IAF contingent on finals to Subang.

An IAF Il-78 tanker had provided aerial refueling support during the IAF contingent outbound sortie from India. On this leg, the IAF contingent had made an overnight stop-over in Surabaya, Indonesia.

IAF Flanker on finals on runway 15 as a Malindo ATR waits to take off.

Although the IAF contingent stop-over had been made known since January, there is no official announcement of their program in Malaysia – apart from the name of the exercise, Ex Elang Shakti – for the next few days. The contingent is scheduled to depart for India on Aug. 23.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2203 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Suggestions

    1. Please have a deep dive discussion on the latest status of IAF MKI overhauls. What I know is that the overhaul will be jointly done at HAL and IAF own workshops (at a ratio of 3:1 airframes annually). Please also find out more about the extended 14 years overhaul interval instead of the original 10 years.

    2. Future upgrade plans of the IAF for their MKI

    3. Lesson learnt on usual failures that IAF has encountered.

    Another matter.

    Did they fly here together with RMAF’s pitch black contingent?

    I dont think they can get into that kind of discussion as the ones flew here are the people from the squadron level and not from the air force HQ. This type of discussion are of the higher level. Nope they fly on their own. Our guys are expected to fly home tomorrow

  2. Hope RMAF can park one of their remaining in use MKMs beside their MKIs and let loose our overhaul and maintenance crew to get a good hard comparison. If we can identify parts similarities and contacts, we can look towards India for spareparts instead of Russia.

    Unfortunately this kind of thing must be done at the higher level first, low level people cannot decide on their own what things to do. As this is the first time both air forces have work together in an exercise both have a lot of things to take care of first

  3. Also, we should try propose to them to stretch their Hercs, since both us are Herc users.

    Theirs are the J version, furthermore they are under the FMS program

  4. @ joe

    Please lah, get all your facts in line before you post.

    All of indian hercs are in the beginning already of the stretched version. It does not need to be stretched.

    @ marhalim

    Airod is more than capable of overhauling and do modifications on the J. It got the contract to service US Pacific fleet KC-130Js.

  5. Dear Joe,
    You cant just eye ball the similarity. Aviation does not work this way. Simple exchange of IPC shall reveal all you need to know at a glace.

  6. @Marhalim
    I fully understand that its a high level decision, but before that they need good solid data to make that decision. The maintenance crew report and suggestions can go a long way to solidify when such decisions are made.

    And not just the MKMs. Even the Scorpenes as well, and the T-72/-90 & PT91 platform of tanks. Their defence industry is almost self-sufficient, there is so much potential we can work together.

  7. IAF involve in Ex Elang Shakti???will this be a low media coverage also? you invlve in this Mr Marhalim? please be involve….really want to see the photos…

  8. @ m

    Before you look into the IPC, just a note.

    Of the 43,000 components that go into a Su-30MKI, 31,500 components or 73 per cent are now being built in India. That is all with the full consent of Sukhoi OKB.

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