Russia and Egypt begin Bridge of Friendship 2021 joint naval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea


The Bridge of Friendship 2021 Russian-Egyptian joint naval exercise began earlier this week in the Gulf of Alexandria, in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Crews of vessels of the Black Sea Fleet (BSF) of the Russian Navy and the Egyptian Navy have embarked on a three-day naval exercise and will perform a set of joint manoeuvres to assist a ship in distress, escort ships behind trawls, repel an attack by surface assets, organize resupply at sea and conduct inspections of suspicious ships, the Russian Ministry of Defence said earlier this week.

The vessels that took part include the frigate Admiral Grigorovich with a Ka-27PS deck helicopter, patrol ship Dmitry Rogachev and a rescue tug (SB-742). A detachment of ships of the Egyptian Navy is represented by a frigate, two corvettes and a support vessel.

The Russian and Egyptian vessels operate according to a plan under the guidance of the joint exercise headquarters. The headquarters is headed by the commander of the Novorossiysk naval base of the Black Sea Fleet, Rear Admiral Viktor Kochemazov.

The exercise began with a two-day onshore phase, during which participants underwent training on communication between ships and a pre-voyage conference with the participation of commanders and officers of the ships.

The objectives of the exercise are to strengthen military cooperation between the Russian Navy and the Egyptian Navy in the interests of security and stability in the region.

The Egyptian Navy has a sizable naval fleet in comparison with the rest of Africa. The Egyptian Navy operates eight submarines (four Type 033 and four Type 209), 14 frigates with three more expected from Germany, and six corvettes. Additionally, the Egyptian Navy has 16 mine layer/hunter vessels, 14 landing craft, two survey vessels, 36 fast attack craft, 47 patrol craft, four transport vessels and seven fuel tankers (possibly two more).