First-ever Russia-Egypt paratrooper drills in Africa underway (VIDEO)

Russian and Egyptian paratroopers have for the first time taken part in joint military drills in the African desert. Some 200 servicemen participated in the exercises, aimed at boosting anti-terrorism effectiveness.

An array of military equipment is being used on both sides, including Russia’s IL-76mg and Egypt’s Casa and C-130, as well as a range of parachute systems, deployed at altitudes of 2,000 (609 meters), 6,000 and 7,000ft, somewhere over Alexandria, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Some 200 paratroopers have taken part in the joint airdrops onto a previously unfamiliar terrain.

The total area measured 15 sq km (9.3 sq miles).

Observers from over 30 countries are keeping watch.

READ MORE: Russian paratroopers depart to Egypt for first joint military drills in Africa

These are the first war drills between the two countries ever to be carried out on the African continent, and involve desert and the type of terrain that Russians don’t often find themselves in.

However, the two countries already took part in joint naval drills in the Mediterranean in June 2015, off the Alexandria coast.

The drills come as part of an agreement between Russia and Egypt and are designed to bolster joint response to terrorism. According to members of the Russian command contacted by RT Arabic, Egypt has requested that the emphasis be on special operations and hostage rescue, particularly in an urban setting.

Both countries exchanged experience in the various tactics in their arsenals.

The drills have been christened ‘Friendship Defenders-2016’, and will run October 15-26.