Russia and Egypt Conclude First Joint Naval Exercise

Itar-Tass16.06.2015 Egypt
Russia and Egypt Conclude First Joint Naval Exercise

Russia and Egypt Conclude First Joint Naval Exercise

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Russia and Egypt conducted their first ever joint naval drill, code named Friendship Bridge 2015.

The exercise began June 6 and concluded last week. It involved 15 different tasks which took place between 10-12 June with aerial and marine units taking part. The last three days marked the practical phase of meetings between the two Defense Ministries which began earlier this month. The drills follow a growing partnership between the Egyptian and Russian militaries which saw the Defense Ministries of the two countries strike a deal in March for Russia to supply Egypt with military hardware and train its servicemen in its academies.

On the last day of the drill, vessels from both sides opened artillery fire against drifting targets according to Black Sea Fleet captain Vyacheslav Trukhachev. Some aspects of the joint drill have involved practicing communication and maneuvering this was one of several combat situation tasks.

F-16 planes from the Egyptian Air Force also joined in the exercise, helping to orchestrate a hypothetical aerial attack against Russian and Egyptian vessels.

In the exercise Russia was represented by the missile cruiser Moscow, the missile hovercraft Samum (photo), the large sea tanker Ivan Bubnov and an MB-31 sea tug. On the other hand Egypt sent its Taba and Sharm el-Sheikh frigate, the missile boats April 25 and 18 June, as well as the Shalateen tanker.

Although other Russian units in the exercise were from the Black Sea Fleet, one vessel from the Baltic Fleet also joined the drills - the large landing ship Alexander Shabalin.

In February 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with President el-Sisi in Egypt and initialized a $2 billion arms deal with the nation. The deal was finalized in May 2015 and provided an air defense system and MiG fighter jets. Putin would later urge Egypt to switch to their respective national currencies in conducting trade, rather than using the U.S. dollar as an intermediary currency.

The Egypt-Russian Naval exercises almost immediately follow the largest ever joint exercises held between the Russian and Chinese Navies that were carried out last month, also in the Mediterranean.

Source: Itar-Tass



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