The participants will also take part in drills like surgical strikes on terrorist camps and hideouts

India and Egypt have added a new dimension to their bilateral defence cooperation by holding the first-ever joint exercise between the special forces of their armies, 'Exercise Cyclone-I'.

The exercise has been in progress at Jaisalmer in the deserts of Rajasthan since January 14, the Ministry of Defence said on Friday, providing information about the drill.

The exercise aims to bolster defence co-operation between the two nations and focus on sharing professional skills and interoperability of Special Forces in desert terrain while undertaking counter terrorism, reconnaissance, raids and other special operations, the ministry said.

During the 14-day exercise, both contingents will engage to advance special forces skills such as Sniping, Combat Free Fall, Reconnaissance, Surveillance & Target Designation, sharing of information on weapons, equipment, innovations, tactics, techniques & procedures.

The participants would also undertake joint planning and drills for Special Forces operations in a mechanised warfare setting as well as surgical strikes on terrorist camps and hideouts to include sniping of High Value Targets.

"The joint exercise would provide an insight into the culture and ethos of both armies thereby fostering military cooperation and interoperability to further strengthen the diplomatic relations between India and Egypt," the Ministry of Defence pointed out.

It may be recalled that India and Egypt had signed a pact on defence cooperation in 2022, thereby signalling their intent to forge closer ties in this sphere. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Egyptian Defence Minister General Mohamed Zaki during the former's visit to Cairo, Egypt on September 20, 2022.

During their meeting, the two ministers had reached a consensus to enhance conduct of joint exercises and exchange of personnel for training, especially in the field of counter-insurgency.