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Indian Air Force Contingent Arrives in Australia for Exercise Pitch Black 2024

Darwin, Australia: An Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent has landed at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Darwin to participate in Exercise Pitch Black 2024. The biennial, multinational exercise, hosted by the RAAF, is scheduled from July 12 to August 2, 2024. This year’s edition, the largest in the 43-year history of Exercise Pitch Black, will feature participation from 20 countries, over 140 aircraft, and 4,400 military personnel.

The exercise, named ‘Pitch Black’ for its emphasis on nighttime flying over large unpopulated areas, will focus on Large Force Employment warfare. It aims to strengthen international cooperation and enhance the operational experience of participating forces. The IAF’s Su-30 MKI fighters will operate alongside advanced aircraft such as the F-35, F-22, F-18, F-15, Gripen, and Typhoon.

The IAF contingent includes over 150 highly skilled air warriors, comprising pilots, engineers, technicians, controllers, and other subject matter experts. They will operate the Su-30 MKI multirole fighters, supported by the C-17 Globemaster and the IL-78 Air-to-Air Refuelling aircraft in combat-enabling roles. This exercise provides the IAF with a valuable opportunity for force integration with other participating nations and the exchange of best practices.

Exercise Pitch Black 2024 offers an excellent platform for enhancing the ability of participating nations to deploy over large distances, support integrated operations in the Indo-Pacific region, and build strong aviation partnerships in a challenging environment. The IAF has previously participated in the 2018 and 2022 editions of this exercise.

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