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Enhancing military capabilities
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 09 - 08 - 2017

Two fourth-generation multi-task French-made Dessault Rafale fighter planes have entered service in the Egyptian air force.
With the delivery of this latest batch Egypt has now taken possession of 11 of the 24 Rafales it ordered. The deliveries, the first of which took place in the second half of 2015, are being made according to the schedule set out in the Egyptian-France strategic partnership agreement.
The new Rafale fighters significantly boost the capabilities of the Egyptian air force by virtue of their sophisticated combat and radar systems and armament capacities. They can perform a variety of long-range missions and accurately intercept all air-to-air and land-to-air threats. The Rafale is able to track and pursue a variety of aerial targets and handle multiple targets simultaneously. It is equipped to carry out aerial command and control operations, intercept hostile assaults, target at long-range from different readiness positions and has a high degree of manoeuvrability.
Egypt's Rafales have participated in many training operations and undertaken a variety of tasks securing strategic air space. In collaboration with other air force units they have taken part in counterterrorist operations. Most recently, the Rafales took part in the graduation ceremonies of cadets from Egypt's military colleges and academies held during the inauguration of the Mohamed Naguib Military Base. The occasion offered an opportunity for Egyptian pilots and air force crews to demonstrate the advanced skills they have attained in handling this state-of-the-art aircraft.
In another development on the military front, Egypt and Greece launched the joint Medusa 2017 naval manoeuvres this week. The naval exercises involve simulated tasks and missions carried out by contingents from the Greek and Egyptian navies and air force. Leading the Egyptian participants were the crews of the Mistral class helicopter carrier Anwar Sadat, the FREMM Aquitaine class frigate the Tahya Misr, the Type 209/1400 class submarine that has just entered service and several F-16 fighter planes.
The joint manoeuvres off Egypt's northern coast began on 31 July and are due to end today. Training exercises include the planning and management of joint naval and aerial combat activities designed to hone the skills of commanders and officers and promote an exchange of expertise between the Egyptian and Greek participants. The overall goal of the exercises is to enhance the combat skills of participant forces and ensure the highest degrees of preparedness and efficacy in carrying out joint tasks.
According to a statement released by the Egyptian Armed Forces, the Medusa 2017 manoeuvres are part of a strategy to expand the scope of joint exercises with friendly nations, boost military cooperation and enhance the exchange of expertise between the forces taking part.

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