IAF team in Australia for combat exercise

New Delhi, July 11 (UNI) India’s Su-30 MKI is all set to roar in the Australian skies as a strong Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent landed at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Darwin on Thursday to participate in Exercise Pitch Black 2024 that begins the next day.

The exercise that will conclude on August 2, is a biennial, multinational exercise hosted by the RAAF, an official statement said.

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

The exercise will be focusing on large force employment warfare aimed at strengthening international cooperation and shall facilitate experience enhancement with the IAF Su-30 MKI operating alongside the F-35, F-22, F-18, F-15, Gripen and Typhoon fighter aircraft.

The name ‘Pitch Black’ was derived from the emphasis on night time flying over large un-populated areas.

The IAF contingent comprises of over 150 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 exercise would provide IAF an opportunity towards force integration with participating nations and mutual exchange of best practices.

The IAF has previously participated in the 2018 and 2022 editions of this exercise.

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