March 26, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese and Saudi air forces will conduct joint military exercises this week in northern Sudan, Khartoum announced on Sunday.
The Sudanese army which has Russian and Chinese military aircrafts is part of the Saudi-led coalition. The latter is equipped with American and British fighters.
In a press conference held in Khartoum on Sunday, the deputy Commander of Sudan’s Air Force Salah al-Din Abdel Khaliq announced that the drills would begin on 29 March and last for two weeks to 9 April.
Dubbed "Blue Shield" the exercises which take place in Meroe, north of Khartoum, will involve some 250 Saudi air force members and over 450 Sudanese military.
Abdel-Khaliq said the purpose of the joint training is to improve the capabilities of the two air armies and their techniques during the operations against the Iranian-backed Yemen’s Houthis rebels.
He added the idea was proposed by "our brothers in Saudi Arabia" since a year ago.
The Sudanese general said Saudi F-15 and Eurofighter Typhoon aircrafts and Sudanese MiG-29 and Sukhoi aircrafts will participate in the first joint drills between the two air armies.
In February 2016, the Sudanese army participated in a regional military exercise including Saudi and Gulf armies, Egypt, Jordanian, Pakistani, and Sudanese armies.
Last year, there were unconfirmed reports about a five billion dollar military assistance to Sudan.
SUKHOI 35 TO SUDAN
On Sunday, the Russian news agency, Sputnik, reported that Sudan will purchase a number of Sukhoi 35 aircrafts, the top Russian air superiority fighter in service today.
In statements to the Russian news agency, Abdel Khaliq said Sudan will soon buy a number of Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia.
However, he didn’t disclose the number of the Russian fighters or how Khartoum intends to secure its