Following the establishment of the newly-elected Egyptian government, India and Egypt will soon carry out their debut joint military exercise in Alexandria. Indian Navy will be fronting warships of the Mumbai-based western fleet which will visit various countries after the Egyptian drill including Spain and France.
As for the joint exercises, Indian warships will undertake a basic exercise with their Egyptian counterparts as part of the westward deployment of the naval fleet. Various destroyers under the command of Western Fleet commander Rear Admiral A R Karve will be deployed in the naval drill.
As for the Indian destroyers headed for Egypt, these include INS Mumbai, INS Trishul, INS Gomati and fleet tanker INS Aditya. These ships have already made a port call at Djibouti and are headed for Alexandria for the naval drill. This is the first military exercise with Egypt after the new establishment was set up in the country.
Following the naval exercise in Egypt, the Indian fleet of ships will head towards Spain. As per the plan, Navy Chief-designate Vice Admiral D K Joshi will visit Madrid and meet the top leadership of the Spanish Navy there. After the stopover at Spain, the Indian warships will visit France to participate in a series of bilateral exchanges there.
Earlier this year, India had attempted to foster strategic and bilateral ties with Egypt with External Affairs Minister, S.M. Krishna going on a three day visit to the nation. The Indian Minister held meetings with Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), President Hosni Mubarak and Egyptian Prime Minister Kamal El Ganzoury to expand ties.
During the visit to Saudi Arabia in March to boost bilateral Defence ties, Indian naval ships had also visited Safaga in Egypt. Three Indian Navy ships carrying more than 600 navy personnel, including approximately 100 young sea cadets for training had visited Egypt en route to Saudi Arabia.