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Indian Air Force contingent lands in Australia to participate in Exercise Pitch Back 2024

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has touched down at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Darwin, ready to participate in Exercise Pitch Black 2024, set to be the largest iteration in the event’s 43-year history.

Scheduled from July 12 to August 2, this biennial multinational exercise will bring together 20 countries, featuring over 140 aircraft and 4,400 military personnel. The name ‘Pitch Black’ reflects the exercise’s emphasis on nighttime flying over vast, unpopulated areas.

The IAF contingent comprises more than 150 skilled personnel, including pilots, engineers, technicians, and controllers. They will operate the Su-30 MKI multirole fighters, supported by C-17 Globemaster and IL-78 air-to-air refueling aircraft in combat-enabling roles.

Exercise Pitch Black 2024 will focus on Large Force Employment warfare, providing a unique opportunity for the IAF’s Su-30 MKIs to operate alongside a diverse array of international fighter aircraft, including F-35s, F-22s, F-18s, F-15s, Gripens, and Typhoons.

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 exercise is expected to strengthen international cooperation and build robust aviation associations in a challenging environment. For the IAF, this marks their third participation in Exercise Pitch Black, following appearances in 2018 and 2022.

(Inputs from ANI)

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Last Updated: 13th Jul 2024