SHAH ALAM: Rafale Dans Ma Ville. Three Dassault Rafales arrived at Subang this afternoon as part of a French Air Force (FAF) tour of Southeast Asia following their deployment to Exercise Pitch Black 2018. The three twin-seaters flew direct to Malaysia from Jakarta its first stop of the tour.
The Rafales are supported by three FAF airlifters – an Airbus A310, an Airbus A400M and a Hercules C-130J. Only the A400M took part in Pitch Black with the three Rafales while the A310 and Hercules had stayed in Singapore since the contingent flew in from India in mid July. The A400M was also supposed to arrive today but it was delayed until tomorrow as it is helping Indonesian authorities to deliver aid to the quake hit island of Lombok.
Pitch Black was held for three weeks in Darwin from July 27 to Aug. 17. The other FAF aircraft which took part in Pitch Black was a C235 based in French Polynesia.
As reported previously the FAF deployment to Australia, Southeast Asia and India have been called Exercise Pegasus 2018. Pegasus is half flag waving mission and half marketing program for the Rafale and the A400M.
Initially the tour of Southeast Asia included Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore only but later FAF stated that the contingent would also visit Vietnam.
From Darwin, the three Rafales and A400M flew into Jakarta on Aug. 19. While in Jakarta, the Rafales and A400M flew Indonesian air force personnel on familiarisation flights. There is no word yet what is in store for the FAF contingent in Malaysia but its likely include familiarisation flights as well with the Rafales.
After Malaysia, the tour will continue into Vietnam before ending in Singapore. The FAF contingent will fly to India after Singapore before the Rafales returned to UAE where they are based. The airlifters will returned to France where they are based.
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