For the First Time Egyptian Navy Goes to Black Sea for Joint Drills with Russia

For the First Time Egyptian Navy Goes to Black Sea for Joint Drills with Russia

Egyptian Navy frigate Alexandria is seen here in 2019 in the Arabian Sea. Photo: Wikipedia

For the first time a group of vessels from the Egyptian Navy has arrived at the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk for joint naval drills.

The leaders of Russia and Egypt, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, respectively, have been demonstrating cordial relations in recent years, and moving to increase defense collaboration, including by backing the same side in the ongoing civil war in Egypt’s neighbor Libya.

The “Russia – Egypt Friendship Bridge 2020” naval exercises in the Black Sea are set to be held between November 17 and November 24, 2020, the press office of the Russian Black Sea Fleet announced on Tuesday, as cited by state-owned news agency Tass.

The naval group from Egypt includes the frigate Alexandria, the corvette El Fateh and the fast missile craft M. Fahmy.

The Russian – Egyptian naval drills in the Black Sea are commanded by the head of the Egyptian delegation, the Chief of the Egyptian Navy’s Operations Department Rear Admiral Mahmoud Adel Mahmoud Faizi

On the first day of the naval drills, the commanders of the Egyptian and Russian naval force met with the Commander of the Novorossiysk Naval Base Rear Admiral Viktor Kochemazov, and also laid flowers at the Memorial on the Alley of Heroes in the Russian Black Sea city in tribute to those killed in the former Soviet Union’s fighting against Nazi Germany in World War II called in Russia “the Great Patriotic War”.

The Russian and Egyptian Navies have been holding Friendship Bridge drills since 2015. So far they have been held closer to Egypt, in the Mediterranean. The 2020 edition will be the first held in the Black Sea.

“The drills aim to strengthen military cooperation between the Russian and Egyptian Navies… [in the] repelling [of] various threats in the areas of intensive shipping,” Russia’s Black Sea Fleet says.

“During the maneuvers, the Russian and Egyptian Navies will practice all types of ships’ protection and defense with firings against surface and air targets. Separate drills will be held to practice abeam replenishment at sea, measures to inspect suspicious vessels and render assistance to a ship in distress with the search for and the rescue of a drowning person,” the  fleet’s press office said.