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Cyprus, France conduct joint SAR, air defence exercises

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Cyprus and France have completed a Joint Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX), while French fighter jets will fly over the island again on Tuesday.

The exercises are in the framework of the defence cooperation program between the two countries and take advantage of the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Monday’s Search and Rescue were conducted in the Republic of Cyprus under the eye of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre.

Rescue helicopters of Charles de Gaulle, the Patrol Boat “GEORGIOU” of the National Guard Navy Command, AW-139 helicopters of the 460 SAR Squadron of the Airforce Command, and special ambulance teams participated in the exercise.

The main goal of the exercise was to improve cooperation in SAR matters between Cyprus and the French military and train the SAR assets’ crews on the operational procedures followed during rescue operations for fighter aircraft pilots post ejection.

SAREX CYFRA 02/21 was the second such exercise this year, while 40 exercises have been conducted with France’s aeronautical forces operating in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Air defence

French Rafale fighter jets will fly over Cyprus on Tuesday for the second military air defence exercise in a week, codenamed TALIOS-2 2021.

French aircraft from the Charles de Gaulle will test air defence systems of the Republic of Cyprus.

The Defence Ministry said Rafale jets would fly over Cyprus air space between 1200 and 1800 local time.