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WATCH | Mid-air Refueling of Egyptian Air Force’s MiG-29, Rafale Aircraft by IAF IL-78 Tanker – News18

Exercise Bright Star-23 will conclude on September 16. (Image: X/@IAF_MCC)

This is Indian Air Force’ first time participating in the Exercise Bright Star-23, among other participating countries are US, Greece, Qatar etc

An Indian Air Force air-to-air refueling IL-78 tanker refueled MiG-29 and Rafale fighters of the Egyptian Air Force as part of the Bright Star-23 exercise.

Earlier on August 28, in view of nurturing global defence cooperation, an Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent reached the Egyptian Air Force Base to participate in the exercise Bright Star-23.

The video of the exercise shows how the IL-78 tanker performed mid-air refueling of MiG-28 and Rafale fighters.

Prior to the beginning of the exercise, the Indian Air Force posted on X, “Touchdown at the Egyptian Air Force base in Cairo. Our home for the next three weeks.”

According to the Defence Ministry, the IAF travelled to Egypt to take part in the biennial multilateral tri-service exercise at Cairo (West) Air Base, which started on September 3 and will conclude on September 16.

This is Indian Air Force’ first time participating in the Exercise Bright Star-23. The participating air force contingents include that from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Greece, and Qatar.

The Indian Air Force contingent includes five MiG-29s, two IL-78s, two C-130s and two C-17 aircraft. Officials from the IAF’s Garud Special Forces and Squadron Numbers 28,77,78 and 81 have also taken part in the exercise. The Indian Air Force aircraft will provide airlift to about 150 Indian Army personnel.

Along with focus on building global defence cooperation, the Indian Air Force’s participation is also aimed at practicing planning and executing joint operations. Such exercises not just foster stronger bonds of air warriors beyond borders but also provide a means to take the strategic relations between the participating nations forward. The Defence Ministry’s release said that the IAF contingents in such exercises abroad are no less than Diplomats in Flight Suits.

India and Egypt have had an exceptional relationship and deep cooperation. Both the countries jointly undertook the development of aero-engine and aircraft in the 1960s and also the training of the Egyptian pilots by their Indian counterparts.

The relationship between the two countries was further reinforced with the recent bilateral visits by India and Egypt’s Air Force Chiefs. The Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and defence minister Rajnath Singh also made a visit to Egypt. Regular exercises between the two country’s Armed Forces have also played a role in enhancing their joint training.

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