Egypt begins military exercise with Saudi Arabia


Egypt and Saudi Arabia on Saturday began the naval exercise Morgan 14, which is taking place in the Red Sea.

The Egyptian armed forces said the exercise would last several days and would also involve observers from several African and Arab countries, Daily News Egypt reported.

As the exercise will take place at sea, it involves activities like searching for mines and submarines, boarding suspicious vessels and resupplying and refuelling at sea. The Navy will also work with the Air Force during the drill.
“These exercises come within the framework of the plan for joint training of the Armed Forces of Egypt and Saudi Arabia to measure the skills and capabilities of troops in the implementing and managing of tasks in joint combat,” the Egyptian military said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia and Egypt often carry out military training – in May this year they carried out the Tabuk 3 joint military endeavour in Saudi Arabia and every year hold the Morgan exercise, rotated between the two countries. The 2012 iteration, Morgan 13, took place around the Saudi city of Jeddah. The first such exercise was held in 2000.

Saudi Arabia has supported Egypt’s interim government and has allegedly offered to finance a proposed major Russian arms deal. Russian arms suppliers visited Egypt earlier this month where they discussed the sale of fighter jets, air defence systems and other hardware.

Defense News quoted Theodore Karasik of the Near East and Gulf Military Analysis think tank as saying that the Russian-Egyptian arms deal includes discussions on Su-25, T-50 PAK FA, MiG-35 and MiG-27 fighters. Also discussed are specialized equipment for the Egyptian Special Operations Forces, radio communications, special communications facilities, reconnaissance devices and the Vega-E radar system.