Egypt and France participate in naval exercises

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A military drill between the naval forces of Egypt and France is to take place starting Monday and is set to last for several days, with the presence of the newly acquired Mistral warships, according to the military spokesperson.

A statement by the military said that the drill will take place in regional waters in both the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

The drills will include the newly acquired Mistral warships, which Egypt received last year from France. A number of aircraft carriers and different boats are to participate in the drills, in addition to the Egyptian F16 fighter jets.

Exercises will include drills and training for mutual attacks and defense operations, as well as missions for investigating suspicious ships, as well as practicing deploying troops on the surface of ships.

“The drills come in the scope of strengthening relations between the armed forces of both countries, which are bonded by strong connections of cooperation,” the statement said, adding that the purpose is to transfer experience from one side to another and vice versa.

The Mistral warship deal is part of many other agreements signed between Egypt and France. In January, Egypt received three Rafale jets, the second batch of a deal signed between both countries to sell 24 Rafale jets. The first batch arrived in July 2015.

They were named after presidents Anwar Al-Sadat and Gamal Abdel Nasser and were assigned to secure gas fields around the Mediterranean, as well as being on call if Gulf countries ask Egypt for aid.

Last April, the Egyptian navy received the first Type-209/1400 submarine. The ship is supplied by German shipbuilding company Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft to Egypt. It can sail up to 11,000 nautical miles when surfaced and has a maximum speed of 21 knots. It also has the ability to launch missiles and torpedoes and is reportedly equipped with the latest navigation and communication systems that can protect the country’s coasts and waters. The deal included supplying four submarines constructed by the company from the German city of Kiel, as assistance to Egypt’s navy.

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