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Australia Deploys F-35As to Indonesia for Air Combat Exercise

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has deployed six F-35A Lightning II fighters to Sulawesi, Indonesia, as part of Exercise Elang AUSINDO 2023.

For the first time in Indonesia, the F-35As will be used to build mutual cooperation between the two countries’ armed forces.

More than 150 RAAF personnel and 160 of their Indonesian counterparts are participating in the training, where the Indonesian Air Force is also set to deploy F-16s.

Offensive and defensive air combat drills will be covered during the event, which is scheduled to run until September 28. The Australian Defence Force also explained that air-to-air refueling drills with their KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Support will be taking place.

Stronger Together

RAAF Deputy Chief Air Vice-Marshal Glen Braz shared how vital the exercise is to both countries in a press release.

“Through this exercise we can build mutual cooperation, trust, and understanding, both at the aviator level and more broadly between the Australian Defense Force and Indonesian National Armed Forces,” he said.

Aside from the two nations, France, Japan, Singapore, the UK, and the US are also taking part in the exercise. Twelve other countries have sent observers so far.

For Better Air Security

Exercise Elang AUSINDO began in 1993 as a training platform for the two countries, with the goal of enhancing diplomatic relations established in 1949.

Elang is one of three annual bilateral exercises between the Australian and Indonesian air forces. Exercises Albatross and Rajawali AUSINDO complete the lineup for the exercises, focusing on air combat, surveillance, and tactics.

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