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Indian and Egyptian air forces participate in key leadership programme in Cairo

The engagement between the Indian and Egyptian Air Force illustrated a high degree of professional trust that has developed between the two Air Forces (All images courtesy: Ministry of Defence)

In a first-of-its-kind interaction between their respective Fighter Weapon Schools, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a month-long engagement with the Egyptian Air Force (EAF) at Egyptian Fighter Weapon School, located in Cairo West Air Force Base.  

The IAF's Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) participated in the programme with three Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft and six Combat Instructor Pilots in the recently-concluded interaction.

The engagement between the two air forces, under the aegis of the Tactical Leadership Programme of EAF, saw a fruitful exchange of ideas in the domain of Large Force Engagements involving complex, multi-aircraft missions.

During the interaction, IAF pilots flew alongside those of the EAF in missions of multiple complexities with the participants also sharing their experiences in the art and science of air combat, while also discussing their best practices.

Interestingly, Egypt is among several other countries which have evinced great interest in the indigenously designed, developed and manufactured state-of-the-art modern 4+ generation Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas fighter aircraft. 

Indian Air Force

During the programme, the induction and de-induction involved flights of over six hours with mid air refueling support from the IAF and UAE Air to Air refuellers.

It also involved synergistic air operations, illustrating a high degree of professional trust that has developed between the two Air Forces.

The bond between the two Air Forces dates back to the 1960s when Group Captain Kapil Bhargava, an IAF Test Pilot, test flew the Egyptian prototype of the Helwan HA-300 with Test Pilots from the EAF.

This was followed by Indian Qualified Flying Instructors training young Egyptian pilots – a programme that continued into the 1980s.

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