Five MiG-29 jets of IAF participating in mega war game in Egypt

Cairo: The Indian Air Force (IAF) deployed five MiG-29 combat jets, six transport aircraft and a group of its special forces personnel at a 21-day multilateral war game in Egypt that began on Sunday.

The biennial tri-services exercise, Bright-Star, is taking place at Cairo (West) Air Base and it is being participated by militaries of the US, Saudi Arabia, Greece and Qatar besides of the host country and India, officials said.

It is for the first time that the IAF is participating in the exercise.  “The IAF contingent will consist 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 will be participating in the exercise,” the IAF said.

Around 150 personnel from the Indian Army are also part of the Indian contingent. “The objective of the exercise is to practice planning and execution of joint operations,” the IAF said in a statement.

“Besides leading to the formation of bonding across borders, such interactions also provide a means to further strategic relations between participating nations,” it said.

It said 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.”