13:20 GMT11 August 2020
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    The Russian Defense Ministry has released a fresh compilation video of the main phase of the Russian-Egyptian Defenders of Friendship-2016 airborne and anti-terror drills. The footage certainly doesn't disappoint.

    The video, released Monday, features dramatic footage of Russian and Egyptian forces paradropping in of the skies over El Alamein military base, the Russians equipped with specially-created uniforms and using the newest Russian parachute technology. Russian forces are shown jumping out of the Ilyushin Il-76 military transports which helped to bring the Blue Berets to Egypt last weekend. Egyptian troops can be seen jumping out of an Egyptian Air Force C-130 Hercules transport.

    Some of the Russian troops have body-mounted cameras, which show what they see as they drop from the sky, ride around on army four wheelers, and take part in the main event: the anti-terror training for which they came to the African country in the first place. The drills' main purpose is to simulate the destruction of terrorist groups in a desert environment.

    Defenders of Friendship-2016, kicking off on October 15 and set to continue until October 26, has been the first-ever deployment of Russian Airborne troops to the African continent, and involves over 500 servicemen and more than a dozen aircraft and pieces of heavy equipment.

    The exercises have been filled with firsts. On Monday, the Defense Ministry confirmed that BMD-2 and BTR-D light tanks and armored personnel carriers became the first Russian airborne vehicles ever to land on African territory.

    Earlier, about 200 Russian Airborne troops and their Egyptian counterparts practiced jumps from 2,000, 6,000 and 7,000 feet.

    Last week, troops from the two countries engaged in target practice, swapping weapons and showing off their sharpshooter skills using automatic rifles, handguns, grenade launchers and rocket propelled grenades.

    The Russians arrived on Egyptian soil the Saturday before last, meeting with Egyptian troops and posing for a group photo.

    Russian analysts commenting on the drills have emphasized that their diplomatic and political significance is almost as great as the exercises themselves. The drills are seen as the clearest indication yet that Moscow and Cairo are moving closer together in the joint fight against the terror which has plagued the Middle East, Egypt included, in the last several years. Last year, Daesh-affiliated terrorists in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula placed a bomb onboard a Russian aircraft filled with tourists, killing all 224 people onboard. Russian and Egyptian officials have since vowed to step up efforts against the jihadist threat.

    On Friday, Ahmed Wasfi, the head of the Training Authority of the Egyptian Armed Forces, noted that the joint drills were doubtlessly an important component in ensuring the efficiency of international anti-terrorist efforts. The officer stressed that Egyptian paratroopers have been eager to learn from the experience of their Russian counterparts.


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