Australia-led air combat exercises begin, 16 countries including Germany participate

Australia on Friday began large-scale joint military exercises with 16 allies, including Germany, amid growing concerns over China’s military threat surrounding Taiwan.

Hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force, the biennial Pitch Black military exercise involves more than 100 aircraft and 2,500 personnel. The exercises will span the Northern He Territory and Queensland until 8 September.

“This year, significant efforts have been made to improve air-to-air refueling capabilities among many participating nations,” said Air Commodore Tim Allsopp of Australia. statement.

“Air-to-air refueling doubles combat power and provides critical reach for fighters. By working with many participating nations, we aim to increase power projection and maximize capabilities,” Alsop said. added.

Participating countries include France, Indonesia, India, Singapore, United Kingdom, Philippines, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Netherlands, Malaysia, New Zealand and United States.

Japan, South Korea and Germany participated for the first time. Germany deployed 13 of her military planes in military exercises, india he said Four Su-30 MKI fighters and two C-17 aircraft were dispatched.

The exercise came after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan against the backdrop of China’s military threat to Taiwan. China sees Taiwan as a rebellious province that must reunite with the mainland.

But Luftwaffe chief Ingo Gerhatz said on Monday that the deployment of military aircraft to Australia was not intended to send a “threatening message” to China because the aircraft would use civilian air routes. .

“The South China Sea, Taiwan – these are the obvious pain points in the region,” he told reporters. “We fly at an altitude of 10 kilometers or more. [6.2 miles] It barely touches the South China Sea and travels on international routes,” he said.

Australia’s ambassador to Germany, Philip Green, echoed the general, stressing that there was no reason for Beijing to view the regular exercises as destabilizing the region.

“We want a region that is stable, peaceful, prosperous, and a strategic equilibrium where countries can make sovereign choices,” Green said when asked about his message to China.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Aldogra Fredry


Aldgra Fredly is a Malaysia-based freelance writer covering Asia Pacific news for The Epoch Times.