The UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Typhoons and a Voyager tanker aircraft are participating in the multinational exercise Pitch Black 2022 for the first time.
The latest iteration of the Australia-led exercise is being conducted from 19 August to 8 September in the Australian Northern Territory.
Around 100 aircraft and 2,500 personnel from 17 countries are participating in the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) exercise.
During the first week of participation, the RAF’s Typhoon aircraft conducted fighter integration training with other nations’ forces to enhance the interoperability, before beginning more complex and collaborative training in the following weeks.
Meanwhile, the deployed Voyager air-to-air refuelling tanker aircraft will refuel fast jets from various participating countries.
UK RAF Commanding No 11 Group Air Officer air vice-marshal Robinson said: “The UK’s participation in such a significant exercise in the Indo Pacific highlights the importance placed on the region.
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“The complexity of this exercise has also given the planning staff at 11 Group, together with the RAF personnel at the various Embassies and High Commissions, the opportunity to demonstrate the RAF’s ability to project and deliver combat power in the Indo Pacific.”
Participation of RAF’s fighter jets and tanker aircraft aims to demonstrate the UK’s air power and capabilities to deploy at long range.
The exercise will allow the RAF to enhance interoperability and relationship with other allied and partner nations to effectively conduct air operations.
It will also strengthen defence engagement in the region to support shared safety and stability.
Following the completion of this exercise, the RAF’s contingent will return to the UK via India, where it will stop for a brief period.
The RAF’s aircraft will conduct a planned bilateral training with the Indian Air Force.