Russian Troops In Egypt For First-Ever Joint Military War Games On Land In Africa

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Written by Staff

From RT, formerly Russia Today, a Russian government-owned website.

Russian airborne units have been sent to Egypt to take part in joint military drills, the first such bilateral exercise in Africa. Armored personnel vehicles and quad bikes are among the hardware taken by the Russian side.

“International (military) exercises of the Russian and Egyptian Airborne forces on the African continent are being conducted for the first time,” the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Saturday.

The drill, code named “Defenders of Friendship 2016” will last until Oct. 26, aiming to practice joint anti-terrorist actions. Representatives of 30 countries will monitor the war games.

“The Russian-Egyptian exercises involving units of airborne troops of the Russian Federation and the airborne troops of the Arab Republic of Egypt will develop common approaches to locate and destroy illegal armed groups in a desert environment,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Apart from the paratroopers “100 tons of military and special equipment” will be delivered to Egypt using 5 IL-76 transport planes, the Ministry added. The units are being reinforced by airborne combat vehicles and armored personnel carriers.

The Russian military noted that “apart from the tracked and wheeled combat vehicles, quad bikes have been also dispatched to the area of the drills.” Quad bikes are able to cross terrain inaccessible to tracked or wheeled armored vehicles.

The joint drills are based on earlier agreements between Moscow and Cairo. In June 2015 the Russian and Egyptian Navies conducted their first-ever joint naval drills in the Mediterranean Sea near Alexandria.

The “Friendship Bridge 2015” exercises involved five Egyptian ships including a guided missile carrier and catamaran hover-borne missile.

Read more at RT.