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Pitch Black 2014 to kick off on August 1

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 17, 2014

PB14 logoAir arms and supporting forces from seven countries will participate in the largest air exercise to be held in Australia, Exercise Pitch Black from August 1.

The action will be centred on RAAF Bases Darwin and Tindal in the Northern territory, and will include elements from Australia, the US, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the UAE, and French Armed Forces in New Caledonia.

“The Northern Territory is ideally placed for exercise participants to bring together aircraft to conduct operations that feature a range of realistic and simulated threats found in the modern battlespace environment,” the outgoing Air Commander Australia, AVM Hupfeld said in a statement. “Conducting Exercise Pitch Black 14 is a massive undertaking, not just for aircrews and maintainers but also for the planning that is involved.”

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Aircraft observers can expect to see will include F/A-18 classic and Super Hornets, E-7A Wedgetail, C-130J, C-17A, AP-3C, King Air and KC-30A of the RAAF; as well as visiting JAS-39A/B Gripens from Thailand; F-15SG, F-16C/D, KC-135 and G550AEW&C from Singapore; Mirage 2000-9 from the UAE; CN-235 from New Caledonia; and F-16C/D and B-52H of the USAF.

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6 Comments

  • Tom

    says:

    I would much prefer the exercise to be relocated to the Barossa Valley in South Australia ( where I live) The noise vibrations could only have a positive effect on the vineyards in the area.

  • Andrew

    says:

    Does anyone know any spots you can view the aircraft at the Delamere Range or is too remote?

    • australianaviation.com.au

      says:

      You can’t really see the range itself from public land – it’s about 20km in from the Buntine Hwy on a private road. You may get lucky and see some action from the Buntine Hwy, about 60km south of the turnoff from the Victoria Hwy, but the road is terrible. You may also see aircraft transitting to and from the range at altitude from the Victoria River Roadhouse. You can see aircraft departing and arriving Tindal from Uralla, just south of Katherine.

      Cheers

      Andrew

  • Doc

    says:

    I work at Darwin airport and, as an ex-RAAF and Qantas ground engineer, I cannot wait for Aug 1st !!!

  • Bob

    says:

    I wish they would vary the dates a bit to avoid a clash with the Darwin Cup which is held on the first Monday in August each year. That week is the absolute peak week for tourist visiting Darwin.
    Pitch Black at the same time just adds further demand for accommodation and commercial flights forcing prices up even further.

  • Andrew

    says:

    Thanks for the info. We will be based in Darwin for the second week of PBK14 but we will certainly make a day trip down to Tindal and see what we can view there!

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