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Indian Air Force to join 20-nation 'Pitch Black' exercise in Australia with Su-30MKI fighters

Began in 1981 as a solely Australian exercise, the Pitch Black 2024 will be the largest in its 43-year history. The first country to join the exercise was the United States of America in 1983.

Indian Air Force to join 20-nation 'Pitch Black' exercise in Australia with Su-30MKI fighters AJR
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First Published Jul 10, 2024, 8:16 AM IST

With its four frontline fighter aircraft – Sukhoi-30MKI, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be joining the 20-nation “Pitch Black” exercise to be hosted by Royal Australian Air Force at Darwin and Tidal in the northern territory of Australia, from July 12.

The Indian Air Force will be deploying four Su-30MKI fighters and a C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft to participate with over 140 aircraft from around the globe, with about 4,435 personnel.

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In a post on X, the Indian Air Force said: “IAF Su 30 MKIs are raring to take a Trans Pacific leap to participate in Exercise Pitch Black 2024 at Australia. The biennial multinational aerial warfare exercise would commence from 12 Jul to 02 Aug 24 at air bases of Darwin and Tindal, Australia.”

“The IAF contingent is looking forward to operating on the multinational stage of this edition of Ex Pitch Black 2024, which will be the largest with participation from 20 countries across the globe,” the IAF said.

“The exercise provides an opportunity for the air forces to share best practices and experiences,” an official said.

Began in 1981 as a solely Australian exercise, the Pitch Black 2024 will be the largest in its 43-year history. The first country to join the exercise was the United States of America in 1983.

The exercise which concludes on August 2, will incorporate a wide range of tactical flying and large-scale operational collective training activities.

The exercise will emphasize offensive counter air and air interdiction operations in a multi-national coalition environment.

Exercise Pitch Black is RAAF’s “most significant flying activity for strengthening international engagement and enhancing our ability to work with overseas partners,” the Royal Australian Air Force has said.

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The countries which are participating in the exercise include -- Australia, Singapore, Italy, Indonesia, India, Japan, UK, France, Germany, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Spain, Brunei, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Canada, and Timor Leste.

On return, IAF will also participate in Exercise Udara Shakti 2024 with Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) from August 5-9 at Kuantan in Malaysia.

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