The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has begun multinational air combat exercise Pitch Black 2010 in Northern Australia, which will run from 16 July to 6 August 2010.

The exercise will include two areas of operation, Blueland at RAAF Base Darwin and Redland at RAAF Base Tindal.

Nearly 1,500 personnel, 60 aircraft, ground crews and aircrews operating some of the most sophisticated military systems will participate in the exercise.

Australian F-111, F/A-18 Classic Hornet, Hawk and PC-9/A aircraft; Thai F-16s; and Singaporean F-16, E-2C Hawkeye and KC-135 aircraft will participate in the exercise.

During the exercise, participants from the Australian army and crew of the Singapore, New Zealand and Thailand Air Force will perform tasking, planning and execution of offensive counter air (OCA) and offensive air support (OAS) operations in a coalition environment.

The RAAF fleet of F-111s will take part in the exercise before they are decommissioned from service by the end of the year.