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Australia’s F-35A Jet Fighters Debut at Joint Air Combat Exercise Series With Indonesia

three f-35a lightning ii flying

The Royal Australian Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters participated in the Australia-Indonesia air combat Exercise Elang AUSINDO 23 for the first time from Sept. 18 to 23.

According to the Australian Ministry of Defence, six F-35A fighters were assigned to the exercise based in Manado, North Sulawesi.

The training joins 150 RAAF personnel and 160 Indonesian counterparts in planning and executing air combat exercise missions, including offensive and defensive deployments basic fighter maneuvers and air-to-air refueling with an RAAF KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport.  

First held in 1993, the Elang AUSINDO exercise is part of three joint Australia-Indonesia air force exercises.

One iteration in the series, Albatross AUSINDO with a focus on maritime patrol, was held this year at RAAF Darwin from May 20 to 24. Australia deployed a P-8A Poseidon and the Indonesia Air Force sent a Boeing 737 maritime surveillance aircraft to the exercise in the Timor Sea.

The third in the series is Rajawali AUSINDO, which focuses on air mobility. It was last held in September 2022 at RAAF Base Townsville, its first iteration since the COVID-19 pandemic.

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