Royal Air Force Jets Prove That They Can Be Deployed Fast at Long Range

RAF proved that it can deploy its aircraft fast, even at such a long distance 6 photos
Photo: Royal Air Force
RAF Sends Its Jets to Pitch Black 2022RAF Sends Its Jets to Pitch Black 2022RAF Sends Its Jets to Pitch Black 2022RAF Sends Its Jets to Pitch Black 2022RAF Sends Its Jets to Pitch Black 2022
Exercise Pitch Black is arguably one of the most important international military training carried out this year. It’s the Royal Australian Air Force’s largest multi-national exercise that takes place every other year, but the 2022 edition is special because the German Air Force, as well as the Royal Air Force’s fighter jets and a refueling tanker, are participating for the first time.
Exercise Pitch Black kicked off on August 19, and six German fighter jets, together with three A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport and one A400M cargo aircraft, flew to RAAF bases at Darwin and Tindal in the Australian Northern Territory. The Royal Air Force (RAF) did something similar, sending its Typhoon fighter jets and a Voyager air-to-air refueling tanker there for the first time.

In the case of Pitch Black, simply getting to the location of the exercise is already a strategic achievement. It proves that fighter jets can be deployed as fast as possible to any part of the world. Air-to-air refueling capabilities are, of course, essential for that.

Once they land on Australian territory, these aircraft must be ready to tackle another challenge. And that is the complexity of the upcoming training. According to RAF’s Wing Commander Rees, Exercise Pitch Black offers an impressive 50,000-square mile (129,000 square km) training area, combined with the participation of over 100 aircraft of different types. This translates to an exercise that comes very close to real-world joint air operations, something that “is simply not possible in Europe.

Pitch Black has now entered its second phase of complex joint training. RAF’s Voyager has not only refueled the Typhoon fighter jets, but it’s also responsible for refueling other fast jets from different air forces participating in the training.

After September 8, when the Australian military exercise is over, the Typhoon jets, together with the Voyager tanker, will also train with the Indian Air Force in India before returning to the UK.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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