Exercise Pitch Black Cancelled

The biennial warfare exercise hosted by Royal Australian Air Force was cancelled due to COVID-19 threats.

Exercise Pitch Black

The main aim of the exercise is to practice Defensive Counter Air combat and Offensive Counter Air Combat. The exercise is held in Northern Australia. The first pitch black exercise took place in June 1981.


In 1990, the exercise began its training including Singapore. Later on, slowly, it began to spread to other international forces.


In 2006, for the first time, more countries participated in the exercise. It included Thailand, Singapore, UK, US and Australia.


In 2008, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization also joined the exercise. The NATO was formed in 1949. It is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 North American and European countries.


In 2010, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand alone were the participants. The exercise was then held in 2012, 2014, 2016 and also in 2018.

India in the exercise

In 2018, India participated in the exercise for the first time. Around 131 aircraft were involved and more than 4,000 personnel participated in the exercise. This also included Canada, France, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Indonesia, Thailand, US, Malaysia.


The bilateral and defence relations between India and Australia has gone up in the recent years. The countries jointly hold AUSINDEX, naval exercise with more than 1000 personnel participating in the exercise.

The countries are planning to sign Mutual Logistics Support Agreement that has been pending for a long time. The Maritime Domain Awareness agreement is also under discussion between the two countries.




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