New Delhi. 10 August 2022. In the month of July 2022, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a one-month long engagement with the Egyptian Air Force (EAF) at the Egyptian Fighter Weapon School, located in Cairo West Air Force Base. This was a first of its kind interaction for both the air forces as it was conducted between their respective Fighter Weapon Schools. On behalf of the IAF, Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) participated in the programme with three Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft and six Combat Instructor Pilots.
The interaction between the two air forces, under the aegis of the Tactical Leadership Program 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. 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.
This programme, involving synergistic air operations, has illustrated 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 Gp Capt 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.