RAMSTEIN, Germany - Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets and a Voyager Air-to-Air refuelling tanker have arrived in Australia to participate in the major training exercise Pitch Black hosted by Royal Australian Air Force.
The high-end training and complex exercise environment offered by Pitch Black combined with the opportunity to share best practise with so many other partners and allies is invaluable
After the arrival of French and German Air Force detachments in Australia, the Royal Air Force is ready to work alongside up to a 100 aircraft and around 2500 personnel from 17 nations. Large force employment of fighter and support aircraft will be conducted primarily from RAF bases Darwin and Tindal in the Northern Territory.
An RAF Typhoon jet landing at Darwin to take part in RAAF-hosted multinational exercise Pitch Black.
Photo by Royal Air Force.
An RAF Voyager Air-to-Air refuelling aircraft enabled the 8600 nautical mile force projection and will refuel exercise participants. Photo by Royal Air Force.
An RAF Typhoon taxiing past French Rafales and German Eurofighters at Darwin Air Base.
Photo by Royal Air Force.
Up to a 100 aircraft and around 2500 personnel from 17 nations will take part in large force employment of fighter and support aircraft conducted primarily from RAAF bases Darwin and Tindal. Photo by Royal Air Force.
"The high-end training and complex exercise environment offered by Pitch Black combined with the opportunity to share best practise with so many other partners and allies is invaluable," said Wing Commander Noel Rees, Officer Commanding 6 Squadron who led the Typhoons into Darwin. "Our presence here is also a further demonstration of the UK's longstanding commitment to deepening cooperation and engagement in the Indo-Pacific," he added.
The four Royal Air Force Typhoons flew from RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus and were Air-to-Air refuelled en route by a RAF Voyager tanker which also carried support aviators and equipment. The 8600 nautical mile journey, which included overnight stops in the United Arab Emirates, India and Singapore, was also supported by an Atlas transport aircraft.
"International participation in exercise Pitch Black, from within the Indo-Pacific region and further abroad, provides all nations' personnel with experience in working with aircraft, systems and work practices, in northern Australia's unique environment that would otherwise be unfamiliar," said Group Captain Peter Wood, Royal Australian Air Force Director Engagement.
Throughout the exercise the Voyager will provide fuel to both the RAF Typhoons and fast jets from other participating nations. "Enabling the deployment of four Typhoons half way around the world is a great example of the essential air mobility role Voyager delivers in the projection of RAF air power," said Voyager Detachment Commander, Squadron Leader Andy Brown. "The challenge of ensuring a smooth and safe global transit has proven excellent training which will continue once the exercise commences," he added.
Exercise Pitch Black features a range of realistic, simulated threats which can be found in a modern battle-space environment and is an opportunity to test and improve force integration, utilising one of the largest training airspace areas in the world — Bradshaw Field Training Area and Delamere Air Weapons Range.