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Russian and Egyptian paratroopers conduct cohesion training during exercise ‘Defenders of Friendship 2018’

31 October 2018
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Participants in Russo-Egyptian exercise ‘Defenders of Friendship 2018’ held near Cairo on 13–26 October jumping from a Russian Il-76MD. Source: Egyptian MoD

Russian airborne troops (VDV) and Egyptian paratroopers conducted intensive joint field training during exercise ‘Defenders of Friendship 2018’ (‘DoF 2018’) on 13–26 October, according to the service’s spokesman.

“A reinforced VDV company and a company of Egyptian paratroopers totalling some 400 servicemen were involved in the exercise, which was aimed at improving interaction between soldiers during rapid deployment and counter-terrorism missions in an urban environment,” the VDV spokesman said on 29 October.

He reported that the soldiers were supported by 15 fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft and 12 air-droppable armoured vehicles. “The soldiers practised high-altitude, high opening [HAHO], high-altitude, low opening [HALO], and medium-altitude, low opening [MALO] parachute jumps from Russian Il-76MD and Egyptian C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, as well as fast roping from Egyptian Mil Mi-17 helicopters. The Russian soldiers used D-10 parachutes and Arbalet-1, Arbalet-2, and MS-5 special HAHO/HALO parachutes, while the Egyptian paratroopers used T-10V parachutes. Several VDV BMD-2 vehicles were involved,” the spokesman said.

Russian airborne soldiers were armed with Kalashnikov AK-74M 5.45 mm assault rifles, many of which fitted with 1P63 1x red-dot sights and GP-25 40 mm grenade launchers.

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