New Delhi: India has sent its five Mig-29 fighter aircraft and six transport aircraft such as two IL-78, two C-130 and two C-17 aircraft to Cairo to participate in the 34-nation triservices exercise Bright Star at Cairo air base in Egypt.
Among the countries participating in the exercise are the United States, Saudi Arabia, Greece and Qatar and others.
This is for the first time that the Indian Air Force is participating in the exercise.
Personnel from the IAF's Garud Special Forces, as well as those from the Numbers 28, 77, 78 and 81 Squadrons will be participating in the exercise.
The IAF transport aircraft will also provide airlift to approximately 150 personnel from the Indian Army.
“The objective of the exercise is to practice planning and execution of joint operations. Besides leading to the formation of bonding across borders, such interactions also provide a means to further strategic relations between participating nations.”
IAF contingents to flying exercises abroad are thus no less than Diplomats in Flight Suits.
India and Egypt have had exceptional relationship and deep cooperation wherein the two jointly undertook development of aero-engine and aircraft in 1960s and training of Egyptian pilots was done by Indian counterparts.
The relationship between the two civilizational countries was further strengthened with the recent visits by Chief of Air Forces of the two countries and Indian Defence Minister and Prime Minister to Egypt.
The two countries have also enhanced their joint training with regular exercises between their Armed Forces.