Russian and Egyptian navies conduct joint naval exercise Friendship Bridge 2020

According to information published by the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) on November 17, 2020, warships from the Egyptian Navy enter for the first time in the port of Novorossiysk, Russia, to participate in the Friendship Bridge 2020 naval exercise, held jointly with the Russian Navy.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Egyptian navy Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate Alexandria F911. (Picture source Russian MoD)

The head of the Egyptian Navy's operations department, Rear Admiral Mahmoud Adel Mahmoud Faizi, is appointed the head of the exercise from the Egyptian side and the head of the delegation. The purpose of this naval exercise is to strengthen and develop military cooperation between the Egyptian Navy and the Russian Navy in the interests of security and stability at sea, as well as to exchange experience between personnel in repelling various threats in areas of heavy navigation.

The Russian-Egyptian exercise Bridge of Friendship 2020 is held from 17 to 24 November in Novorossiysk and the Black Sea Fleet naval training grounds. During the naval exercise, tactical groups of warships of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy and the Egyptian Navy, with the support of aviation, will work out joint tasks to protect sea routes from various threats.

The detachment of ships of the Egyptian Navy includes the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate Alexandria (F911), the Gowind-class corvette El-Fateh (971) and the Ambassador MK III missile craft M. Fahmy (688).

The Alexandria (F911) is the Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigates USS Copeland (FFG-25) that was in service with the U.S. navy until 18 September 1996. She was transferred to Egypt the same day as Mubarak (F911). The ship was renamed Alexandria (F911) after the 2011 revolution. The ship is armed with Mk 13 launchers able to launch surface-to-air missile RIM-24, RIM-66 and surface-to-surface missile RGM-84 Harpoon. The ship is also armed with one 76mm Oto Melara naval gun, Close-In Weapon System 20mm Phalanx and torpedo tube Mk 32.

The El-Fateh (971) is a Gowind 2,500-ton corvette designed and manufactured by the French company Naval Group. She was commissioned in September 2017. She is designed for surveillance, surface and subsurface combat, protection and escort naval missions. It can also perform presence, maritime surveillance and policing missions against trafficking and piracy.

The Gowin 2500 is armed with one OTO Melara 76 mm main gun, two Nexter Narwhal 20 mm automatic cannons, 16 VLS (Vertical Launching System) for VL Mica surface-to-air missiles, 8 MBDA MM40 Exocet anti-ship missile launchers and two triple torpedo launchers.

The M. Fahmy (688) is Ambassador MK III fast missile craft or Ezzat class, a small warship built by VT Halter Marine for the Egyptian Navy. The ship is armed with eight RGM-84 Boeing Harpoon SSM Block 1G in 2 quad canister launchers, one OTO Melara Mk 75 76 mm/62 Super Rapid DP gun, one Mk 31 Mod 3 RIM-116 RAM (21 missiles), one Raytheon Mk 15 Mod 21 Phalanx (Block 1B) 20 mm Phalanx CIWS and two deck-mounted 7.62 mm M60 machine guns.