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Top End to host Exercise Pitch Black

Top End to host Exercise Pitch Black

The international military aircraft training exercise is set to return to the Northern Territory.

The international military aircraft training exercise is set to return to the Northern Territory.

Australia and its international partners will engage in aircraft training in the Top End from 19 August to 8 September as part of Exercise Pitch Black.

Touted as the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) most significant international engagement activity, Exercise Pitch Black aims to develop and enhance military relationships, involving 15 nations from around the world.


The three-week multinational large force employment exercise is set to be conducted primarily from RAAF Base Darwin and RAAF Base Tindal.

This year’s iteration would also involve operations out of RAAF Base Amberley.

Activities are expected to include day and night flying involving approximately 100 participating aircraft.

Air Commander Australia, Air Vice-Marshal Darren Goldie said the exercise would strengthen interoperability between nations.

“We are pleased that we are able to conduct the exercise this year and would like to thank the Northern Territory community for their interest and tremendous support,” AVM Goldie said.

“Exercises such as Pitch Black provide important training opportunities in a multination coalition environment and are important for ensuring Air Force remains ready to respond, whenever the Australian government requires.”

Exercise Pitch Black will be the latest of a number of regional exercises involving the RAAF this year.

Earlier this month, a RAAF P-8A Poseidon aircraft flew to India for a combined India-Australia maritime surveillance exercise in the Indian Ocean.

The initiative aimed to strengthen operational maritime domain awareness, enhance anti-submarine warfare manoeuvring, and improve interoperability.

Months earlier, an Indian Navy P-8I aircraft was deployed to the Top End.

The Indian aircraft conducted coordinated exercises alongside a RAAF P-8A Poseidon aircraft from 11-15 April off the coast of Darwin.

The combined training, which marked the first time an Indian P-8I has deployed to Australia outside of a routine military exercise, sought to further strengthen bilateral defence ties between the Quad partners.

Activities included surveillance, anti-submarine warfare and interoperability drills.

[Related: RAAF P-8A Poseidon deploys to India]

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