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Australia-led air force exercise begins with German aircraft

Drill aimed at countering China's growing military footprint in region

The Pitch Black exercise marks the first Indo-Pacific deployment for Germany's mainstay Eurofighter jets.   © AP

SYDNEY -- The Pitch Black joint military exercise hosted by Australia kicked off Friday with 17 countries taking part, looking to curb China as it continues to ramp up military activity in the Indo-Pacific region.

The event marks the first Indo-Pacific deployment of Germany's mainstay Eurofighters, which are expected to stop in Japan late next month after the exercise.

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