Philippine Fighter Jets Participate in Australia’s Pitch Black Exercises

Philippine Fighter Jets Participate in Australia’s Pitch Black Exercises

The Philippines Air Force arrived in northern Australia for its first overseas deployment in six decades, participating in the Pitch Black War games alongside U.S. and Australian troops. Twenty nations and 140 aircraft, along with four Philippine FA-50 fighter jets and 162 troops, gathered in the Northern Territory, which provides vast airspace for advanced combat training.

Air Commodore Pete Robinson of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) emphasised the importance of the Philippines’ first overseas deployment since 1963. There is enough airspace in the Northern Territory to support activities like dog fighting, radar, and missile system operations. Philippine aircraft will work with other air forces to combat complex situations against simulated adversaries and ground threats, including Australian F-18s F-35As and American F-22 stealth fighters.

China and the Philippines are at odds over the South China Sea, and their interactions are growing more hostile. Senior analyst Euan Graham pointed out that the Philippines is interested in strengthening its own air force and navy despite having a mutual defence treaty with the US. 

The nation is updating its armed forces, swapping out antiquated equipment from the Vietnam War and World War Two.