Egyptian Air Force Stages “Elephant Walk” With 16 MiG-29M/M2 Fulcrum Jets

Sixteen MiG-29M/M2 take part in an Elephant Walk in Egypt. (Image credit: EAF)

Here are some cool images of more than a dozen Egyptian Fulcrums taking part in a readiness exercise.

As part of the Qadir-2020 exercise, the Al Quwwat Al Jawwiya Il Misriya (Egyptian Air Force) carried out a “show of force” with its MIG-29M/M2 aircraft: 16 Fulcrums staged a so-called “Elephant Walk.

“Elephant walk” exercises are conducted quite regularly at airbases all around the world to test the squadrons ability to launch large formations of aircraft at short notice. During these drills, combat planes (but also tankers, tilt-rotor aircraft, etc) taxi in close formation in the same way they would do in case of a minimum interval takeoff; still, depending on the purpose of the training event, the aircraft can either take off or return back to their parking slots.

As we have often explained here at The Aviationist, “Elephant Walks” have always been particularly frequent in South Korea where local-based U.S. Air Force jets (often alongside Republic of Korea Air Force planes) often stage such “collective shows of force” in response to North Korea’s aggressive posture and threats: tens of U.S. F-16s, A-10s and South Korea’s ROKAF KF-16s regularly taxi down the runway at Kunsan or Osan airbases, in collective “shows of force” whose primary aim is to test squadrons’ readiness to war time operations. However, similar exercises are also conducted at airbases in Continental U.S. as happened, for instance, in April 2012, when nearly 70 F-15E Strike Eagles took part to one of the largest Elephant Walk to date at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.

An interesting aerial view of the Fulcrums staging the Elephant Walk. (Image credit: EAF)

Egypt signed a contract with Russia’s Rosoboronexport in 2015 for 46 MiG-29M/M2 fighters whose delivery began in 2017: the Egyptian variant is designated as the MiG-29M for the single seater, and MiG-29M2 for the two seater.

An EAF MiG-29 crashed in November 2018 and another one crashed on Dec. 5, 2019, during a training sortie due to a technical malfunction. In both cases, the pilots managed to eject safely.

The images of the MiG-29M/M2 (including some of the aircraft performing buddy-buddy aerial refueling, as well as others showing an Elephant Walk carried out by EAF Alpha Jets) were released on Jan. 13, hours before an EAF F-16 crashed in North Sinai region on Jan. 14. ISIS claimed responsibility, alleging it was able to shoot down the F-16 while it was flying over southern Rafah, near the Egyptian-Israeli border, where the Egyptian government has been facing a significant Islamist insurgency in recent years. ISIS also claimed they were able to take the pilot captive and that he is not dead but the pilot was confirmed killed by an EAF spokesperson.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.