Egypt has strengthened its remarkable military cooperation with Russia by launching a new military drill including elements of the Egyptian paratroopers and the Russian Airborne Forces.
The 5th edition of the annual ‘Defenders of Friendship’ drill continues till 29 October at the East Cairo airbase.
It aims to boost strategic cooperation between the Egyptian Armed Forces and Russian counterparts in various fields, the Egyptian Armed Forces announced.
It also aims at exchanging experiences and modern combat tactics between the two countries.
The relationship between Russia and Egypt revived after President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi took office in 2014.
The two countries inked several military and economic cooperation agreements, and Moscow started building a nuclear power plant for electrical generation in the Dabaa area in northwest Egypt.
At the military level, Russia sought to modernize the Egyptian military arsenal and to equip it with Russian weapons within the framework of the plan to diversify the sources of armament that the Egyptian leadership had announced.
Also, 30 percent of Russian-made weapons that Egypt received in the 1950’s and 1960’s are currently still operational.
In recent years, the military cooperation between Egypt and Russia has focused on supporting the capabilities of the Egyptian air defense, by modernizing its short-range air defense system to a Tor-M2 missile system and its medium-range air defense system to a Buk-M2 system.
Military cooperation between the two countries also witnessed joint exercises of parachute units under the “Defenders of Friendship” drill.