During the ongoing BRIGHT STAR-23 Exercise, an Indian Air Force’s IL-78 tanker performed air-to-air refuelling of Egyptian Air Force Aircraft MIG and Rafale fighters. The Indian Air Force refuelled MIG 29 M and Rafale fighters of the Egyptian Air Force, IAF said on Tuesday. Exercise ‘BRIGHT STAR-23’, a biennial multilateral tri-service exercise started at Cairo (West) Air Base, Egypt on August 27 and it will continue till September 16.
Contingents from the US, Saudi Arabia, Greece and Qatar are also part of this exercise. This is for the first time that IAF is participating in this defence exercise, IAF said.
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, the ministry of defence added.
Last week also the Indian Air Force (IAF) IL-78 did air-to-air refuelling of an aircraft from the Egyptian Air Force during Exercise BRIGHT STAR-23, informed the IAF.
The IAF said, “Showcasing the bonds of friendship in the skies over Egypt during Exercise Bright Star, where the Indian Air Force IL-78 air-to-air refuelling aircraft refuelled aircraft from the Egyptian Air Force”.
The Indian Air Force contingent consisted of five MiG-29, two IL-78, two C-130 and two C-17 aircraft. Personnel from the IAF’s Garud Special Forces, as well as those from the Numbers 28, 77, 78 and 81 Squadrons are participating in the exercise, the IAF official added.
The IAF transport aircraft has also provided airlift to approximately 150 personnel from the Indian Army, those who are also joining this exercise.
According to the Ministry of Defence, 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 the 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, the official at the defence ministry added.