India and Egypt will seek to deepen military cooperation, including between their defence industries, India’s foreign secretary said on Wednesday.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi held talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi as part of a state visit where he will meet business leaders and be a guest of honour at India’s Jan. 26 Republic Day.
This is to further improve on an already existing tight bilateral relations. Last September, Indian Defense Minister Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh met with his Egyptian counterpart in Cairo, to discuss and sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at enhancing military and security cooperation between both nations.
Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh also met with Egypt’s President al-Sisi, where they discussed cooperation and focus on joint training, defence co-production, and maintenance of equipment and also exchange expertise in countering the threat of terrorism.
India had earlier offered to set up production facilities in Egypt for the Tejas Mk1A, in view of the fact that Egypt is in the market for new trainer aircraft.
The Egyptian Air force (EAF) is in the market for a new trainer aircraft to replace its aging fleet and to train its student pilots for the newly delivered Rafale fighter jet, and incoming Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet.
India’s state-owned manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) offered its LCA-Tejas to be used as lead-in fighter training (LIFT) for Egyptian requirement for 70 LIFT aircraft as it plans to retire Chinese-made 100 K-8E trainer aircraft.
HAL has offered to set up a local production line and technology transfer in Egypt for the Tejas MK1 and is also pitching its range of indigenous choppers like the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH).
Likewise, Egypt has expressed interest in acquiring various defence equipment from India, including the Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA), the Akash air defense missile system, and the DRDO’s Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) long-range precision guided munitions.