IAF contingent reaches Australia for Exercise Pitch Black

The contingent comprises of over 150 highly skilled air warriors ‘including pilots, engineers, technicians, controllers and other subject matter experts’

Updated - July 15, 2024 09:34 am IST

Published - July 11, 2024 09:09 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The 2024 edition is slated to be the largest in the 43-year history of Exercise Pitch Black, which includes participation by 20 countries, with over 140 aircraft and 4,400 military personnel of various air forces.

The 2024 edition is slated to be the largest in the 43-year history of Exercise Pitch Black, which includes participation by 20 countries, with over 140 aircraft and 4,400 military personnel of various air forces. | Photo Credit: X/@IAF_MCC

An Indian Air Force contingent landed at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base in Darwin on July 11 to participate in the biennial, multinational Exercise Pitch Black 2024 scheduled to be conducted from July 12 to August 02.

“The IAF contingent comprises of over 150 highly skilled air warriors including pilots, engineers, technicians, controllers and other subject matter experts, who will be operating the formidable Su-30 MKI multirole fighters, with the C-17 Globemaster and the IL-78 Air-to-Air refuelling aircraft in combat enabling roles,” the IAF said in a statement. “The exercise would provide IAF with an opportunity towards force integration with participating nations and mutual exchange of best practices.”

The exercise will be focusing on large-force employment warfare aimed at strengthening international cooperation and facilitating experience enhancement with the IAF’s Su-30 MKI operating alongside the F-35, F-22, F-18, F-15, Gripen and Typhoon fighter aircraft, the IAF said. The IAF has previously participated in the 2018 and 2022 editions of Pitch Black.

The name “Pitch Black” was derived from the emphasis on night-time flying over large uninhabited areas. This edition is slated to be the largest in the 43-year history of Exercise Pitch Black, which includes participation by 20 countries, with over 140 aircraft and 4,400 military personnel of various air forces, according to the statement.

The exercise provides an excellent opportunity for strengthening the ability of the participating nations to deploy over large distances, support integrated operations in the Indo-Pacific region and building strong aviation associations in a highly challenging environment, the statement added.

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