BACK to BLACK, Exercise Pitch Black 2022 participant details released.

BACK to BLACK, Exercise Pitch Black 2022 participant details released.



Royal Australian Air Force releases participants list for this years Pitch Black exercise in August.


Article: Jaryd Stock

Images: Jaryd Stock, Ryan Imeson




Exercise Pitch Black will once again return to the Top End this year, with Australian and international military aircraft training over the Northern Territory from 19 August until 8 September.

This exercise is the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) most significant International Engagement activity, with forces participating from a wide range of partner and allied nations, with the aim of developing and enhancing military relationships at all levels.

This year, up to 15 nations from around the globe will participate. Air Commander Australia, Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Darren Goldie said exercises such as Pitch Black were pivotal in strengthening our regional partnerships and improving 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.

For the first time Japan (F-2), Germany (Typhoon), Royal Air Force (KC.2 Voyager) and Republic of Korea (KC-30) will be participating in the exercise although ROK did announce earlier in the year that KF-16’s will be participating in the exercise as well. Also notable returnee to the exercise will be the French Air Force returning with Rafale fighter jets which was a welcomed addition to the 2018 integration of the exercise, and the Su-30MKI from the Indian Air Force will return.

Notably though there are some nations that have been apart of the rich history of Pitch Black exercises previously but not participating, with Malaysia and Thailand not coming down to Australia for the 2022 iteration of the exercise.


Pitch Black 2018 Force Integration Training FIT



PARTICIPANT LIST (Subject to Change)

RAAF Base Darwin
EA-18G Growler
F-35A Lightning II
KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport
Multi-Role Tanker Transport
Multi-Role Tanker Transport
Multi-Role Tanker Transport
RAAF Base Tindal
E-7A Wedgetail
F-35A Lightning II
Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighter
CASA 235
RAAF Base Amberley
KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport
Multi-Role Tanker Transport
Multi-Role Tanker Transport

Pitch Black 2018 Indian Air Force


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

Exercise Pitch Black is a biennial three week multi-national large force employment exercise conducted primarily from RAAF Base Darwin and RAAF Base Tindal. RAAF Base Amberley will also be included in the exercise this year.

Activities like this, recognise Australia’s strong relationships and the high value we place on regional security and fostering closer ties throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

The exercise will include day and night flying involving approximately 100 participating aircraft.

Free buses from Darwin Showground to RAAF Base Darwin, the Pitch Black Open Day is a free community event and is a perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with the local and international military aircraft and vehicles. It is also a rare opportunity to meet the crews and personnel who fly and operate these machines.
The Open Day will also include food stalls, rides, military working dog displays, Air Force band performance, interactive exhibits and activities.
Pitch Black 2022 flypast and handling display
Date:           Thursday 25 August 2022
Time:           Approximately 5 – 6.30pm – To be confirmed
Location:    Mindil Beach, Darwin
(Subject to operational availability)
Pitch Black 2022 Open Day
Date:           Saturday 27 August 2022
Time:           9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Location:    RAAF Base Darwin
Pitch Black 2018 Indian Air Force Su-30


Pitch Black 2018 Force Integration Training FIT


Exercise Pitch Black 2018 Open Day RAAF Base Darwin


Jaryd Stock on Flickr
Jaryd Stock
Jaryd Stock is based in Sydney Australia. He has been a die-hard aviation enthusiast from a young age when he was chauffeured around by his father to various airshows and airports around Australia. At his first Airshow he witnessed the awesomeness of a General Dynamics F-111C and immediately fell in love with aviation.

Jaryd picked up a camera at a young age and has never looked back. He now combines photography and writing to highlight "Downunder" aviation; especially U.S. DoD units. Jaryd uses Nikon cameras and lenses.
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