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French Air Force Set to Fly into Darwin on Bastille Day

French Air Force Set to Fly into Darwin on Bastille Day

Exercise Pitch Black is the Royal Australian Air Force's largest exercise. It provides participants with high complexity Air Combat training opportunities. Pitch Black exercises are held biennially. Pitch Black 2004 will be conducted in the Top End between 19 July and 5 August 2004. Participating nations identify the Pitch Black Exercise as an opportunity to demonstrate their capacity to participate and contribute in a multi-national defence exercise, across cultures and across regions. RAAF Base Darwin will host aircraft and personnel from the Royal Australian Air Force, the Singaporean Air Force the French Air Force and the Royal Thai Air Force. RAAF Base Tindal will be home to aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force. Source: Australian Department of Defence (Royal Australian Air Force RAAF Public Affairs). Canberra, Tuesday, July 13, 2004.

Le Mirage 2000-5, avion de combat Multi-role.

Le Mirage 2000-5

What: French Air Force aircraft to participate in Exercise Pitch Black to arrive this Wednesday, 14 July 2004.

Why: French Air Force will be providing four (4) MIRAGE 2000-5 combat aircraft and a KC-135 tanker aircraft to participate in Exercise Pitch Black from 19 July until 5 August.

When: Wednesday, 12 July 2004. Media interested in covering the arrival are asked to present themselves at the Pass Office outside the security gate at RAAF Base Darwin at 1.00pm. 

Where: RAAF Base Darwin.

About 80 French Air Force personnel will arrive at RAAF Base Darwin this week with the FAF aircraft arriving on Wednesday 14 July, Bastille Day.

The French Air Force will stay for the duration of Exercise Pitch Black. The exercise gives the French Air Force an opportunity to develop interoperability with air forces from Australia, Singapore and Thailand.

The aircraft will be flown from France to Australia in four legs, which is a long distance training exercise in itself. The aircraft departed from France last Saturday (10 July).

Media Note:

Media wishing to attend RAAF Base Darwin to film/shoot arrivals will need to provide names of staff attending to the Royal Australian Air Force toll free number 1800 301 885 and will be escorted while on base. Alternatively, media can have access to defence vision and stills on www.defence.gov.au/pitchblack

Media contacts:

  • Air Force Public Affairs Darwin, 1800 301 885 (toll free)

  • Olivier Bove, Media Adviser - French Embassy, (02) 6216 0100 - 0403 606 682

Related paper:

Participating Planes include:


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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