Saudi Arabia and Sudan conduct joint air exercise


Saudi Arabia and Sudan are for the first time conducting a joint air exercise, which kicked off on 29 March.

The Sudanese Air Force is contributing Mi-29s, Su-25s, Su-24s and Mi-17s while Saudi Arabia has sent Typhoons and F-15s. Four F-15Cs and four Typhoons from Kind Fahd AFB have been deployed for exercise Blue Shield I, which is set to conclude on 12 April.

The exercise is being held in Meroe, north of Sudan’s capital Khartoum and involves 250 Saudi air force members and 450 Sudanese personnel.

According to Agence France Presse, Salaheddin Abdul Khalid, acting chief of staff of the Sudanese air force said the exercise was proposed by Saudi Arabia and took a year to plan.

Ties between Sudan and Saudi Arabia have been close since 2015 when Sudan moved away from Iran and joined the Saudi-led campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Saudi F-15s and Typhoons have taken part in the air campaign.

Apparently the Saudi aircraft will display to the public in Khartoum between 10 and 12 April.

Saudi Arabia and Sudan earlier this year held a joint naval exercise, Falak-2, between 13 and 19 January at King Faisal Naval Base, of the Saudi Western Fleet. The exercise involved boarding, search and seizure practice, island landings and other activities.

Sudan in February last year also participated in the North Thunder exercise in Saudi Arabia.