Indian Air Force Participating in Exercise Pitch Black for the First Time Ever

The Indian Air Force is participating in Exercise Pitch Black for the first time ever and have been deployed to Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Darwin.

The Indian Air Force contingent sent to Pitch Black consists of 145 personnel supporting a range of aircraft including four Sukhoi Su-30MKI multi-role fighter aircraft and one C-130J Hercules tactical airlifter. This is the first time that an IAF contingent is participating in a multinational air exercise in Australia with Royal Australian Air Force.

As a part of Commonwealth countries, India and Australia have always enjoyed amicable bilateral relations. Air Forces of both the countries have participated in the Second World War.

Exercise Pitch Black is a biennial three week multi-national large force employment exercise conducted from RAAF Base Darwin and RAAF Base Tindal. This year’s exercise is the conducted in the Northern territory from 27th of July to the 17th of August.

The Pitch Black exercise aims to strengthen regional partnerships, improve interoperability between nations and promote regional stability.

The exercise hosts up to 4000 personnel and up to 140 aircraft from around the globe including participants from 16 different nations including Australia, Canada, France (New Caledonia), Germany, Indonesia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, India, Malaysia and the United States and will include day and night flying.

The exercise features a range of realistic, simulated threats which can be found in a modern battle-space environment and is an opportunity to test and improve our force integration, utilising one of the largest training airspace areas in the world — Bradshaw Field Training Area and Delamere Air Weapons Range.

The aircraft participating in the exercise are:

Flying Participants
Country Assets
Australia 10 x F/A-18F Super Hornet
3 x E/A-18G Growler
15 x F/A-18A Hornet
2 x C-130J Super Hercules
1 x C-17 Globemaster III
1 x KA350 King Air
2 x C-27J Spartan
1 x E-7A Wedgetail
2 x PC-9
1 x KC-30 (Airbus A330 MRTT)
Canada 1 x CC130TT Hercules
France 3 x Rafale
1 x CN-235
India 4 x Su-30MKI
1 x C130J Super Hercules
Indonesia 8 x F-16 Fighting Falcon
Malaysia 5 x F/A-18D Hornet
1 x A400M Atlas
Singapore 6 x F-16 Fighting Falcon
5 x F-15 Eagle
1 x KC-135
1 x G550
Thailand 6 x Gripen
U.S. Air Force (USAF) 12 x F-16CM Fighting Falcon
2 x B-52 Stratofortress
U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) 10 x F/A-18C/D Hornet
2 x KC-130J Super Hercules
8 x MV-22 Osprey
6 x A/UH-1


Contractor Support
Air Affairs 7 x Learjet 35
Raytheon 1 x EWTS Learjet 35
Top Aces 3 x Alpha Jet

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