An Indian Air Force (IAF) tanker conducted air-to-air refueling operations for the Egyptian Air Force as part of Exercise Bright Star-23.
The US-led exercise, which began on August 27, 2023, at Egypt’s Cairo (West) Air Base, has served as a platform for fostering global defense cooperation and strengthening strategic relations among participating nations, such as Saudi Arabia, Greece, the UAE, Oman, Jordan, the UK, Greece, Cyprus, India, and Pakistan.
The IAF’s participation marks its debut in the biennial multilateral tri-service event. India is participating with five MiG-29s, two IL-78s, two C-130s, and two C-17s aircraft.
Taking to X (formerly known as Twitter), the IAF said: “Showcasing the bonds of friendship in the skies over Egypt.”
Video footage of Exercise Bright Star-23 was shared on social media channels on September 12, 2023, and show an Indian IL-78 tanker refueling Egypt’s Rafale and MiG-29 fighter jets mid-air.
Fighter jets, unlike passenger or cargo planes, are unable to land and refuel. As a result, in-flight refueling becomes necessary.
India has a long-standing close relationship with Egypt. In the 1960s the two countries collaborated on aero engines and aircraft development, and Egyptian Air Force pilots were trained by Indian colleagues.