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Russian-Egyptian air defense forces start drills in Egypt

The Russian colonel emphasized that this is the first time such drills were held
Tor-M2  surface-to-air missile Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS
Tor-M2 surface-to-air missile
© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, October 30. /TASS/. Joint Russian-Egyptian drills of air defense forces, dubbed the Arrow of Friendship-2019, began at the Egyptian air defense troops’ training center near Cairo on Wednesday, the press service of the Southern Military District has said.

"Today we are beginning joint international drills, the Arrow of Friendship-2019, which involve servicemen of Russia and the Arab Republic of Egypt. For the first time, the two friendly nations’ military will act hand in hand. The Russian and Egyptian servicemen will exchange experience and learn how to work together when using modern air defense systems," Russian Colonel Valery Chernysh, who oversees the drills, said.

The colonel emphasized that this is the first time such drills were held, but the two countries’ military earlier had a chance to watch each other’s actions. For example, during the Clear Sky International Army Games. Some 50 years ago, Soviet air defense specialists helped their Egyptian colleagues create the country’s air defense system.

"Military cooperation between Egypt and Russia is one of fundamental elements of bilateral cooperation. We seek to develop it and take advantage of it. The drills are aimed at strengthening military ties, exchanging experience, improving the level of training, developing the skills of using and introducing new technologies," Commander of Egypt’s Air Defense Forces Ali Fahmi said.

The drills involve Russian-made Buk-M2E, Tor-M2E, Pechora S-125 on a tracked undercarriage, wheeled Kub, Igla-S manpad, Shilka-M4 self-propelled guns, as well as all-terrain vehicles for Igla-S.

The anti-aircraft gunners from both countries will practice inter-operability in ensuring airspace security, measures to provide cover for vital facilities, improve their skills and engage the maximum combat capabilities of surface-to-air missile systems in jointly repelling air strikes in various conditions. The drills will last until November 7.