3 French Air Force Dassault Rafale accompanied by a C-135F tanker aircraft, A400M, and A310 Transport Aircraft will be making a stopover in India after it participating in a month-long Exercise Pitch Black biennial warfare exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

On its return Journey, French aircraft will take off from Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Bases Darwin and Tindal and will first have a stopover in Indonesia followed by Malaysia, Singapore and India and later proceeding to UAE.

Indan Airforce for the first time will be sending four Sukhoi-30MKI fighter aircraft along with C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlift aircraft to the country to participate in the multilateral “Pitch Black” air combat exercise.

Exercise Pitch Black will be held from July 27 to August 17 this year primarily at RAAF Bases Darwin and Tindal and will see the participation of Airforce fighter jets from Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and the US.

The aim of the Exercise Pitch Black is to practice Offensive Counter Air (OCA) and Defensive Counter Air (DCA) combat, in a simulated war environment. It traditionally consists of a ‘red team’ and a ‘blue team’ based at separate locations, with one attacking the other.

Exercise Pitch Black has grown from a small-scale air defense exercise between host Australia, the U.S. and Singapore when it began in the late 1980s into a complex, multinational wargame considered by the RAAF to be its premier air combat exercise. Encompassing a full spectrum of scenarios that make up modern air warfare, participating air forces use the opportunity to provide realistic, high-end air combat training for their aircrew, while at the same time building and cementing professional and personal friendships among the participants.


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