Russia and Egypt have commenced their first joint naval exercise off the Mediterranean Egyptian port of Alexandria, as part of efforts to strengthen military co-operation between the countries.
Known as Friendship Bridge 2015, the eight-day exercise is expected to cover supply and communications at sea, search operations, as well as all forms of defence at sea and firing exercises.
During the exercise, Russian and Egyptian Navy ships will perform protection tasks over sea routes against different kinds of threats.
According to Russia’s Ministry of Defence, the exercise is aimed to strengthen and develop co-operation in favour of security and stability at sea, exchange experience between the fleets’ personnel, and planning and co-ordination of joint efforts for reaction to modern challenges.
The drill will see Russia’s missile cruiser Moskva, corvette Samum, landing ship Alexander Shabalin, tanker Ivan Bubnov and a tugboat involved in the exercise.
Egypt will contribute the frigates Taba and Damiyat, the tanker Shatalin, two patrol boats and two F-16 fighters.
Coastal staff will be located in the United Control centre of the Navy of Egypt, while sea staff will be aboard the Moskva Guards missile cruiser, the flagship of the exercise.
In May, Russia and China jointly conducted a naval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea. The exercise saw the participation of two Chinese 054A/Jiangkai II class missile frigates and supply ship Weishanhu, while Russia contributed six vessels.
Image: Friendship Bridge 2015 is aimed to strengthen and develop co-operation between Russia and Egypt. Photo: courtesy of CC BY 4.0 / Russian Federation Defence Ministry.