INDRA navy and AviaIndia: Maritime security and interoperability focus of joint exercises between Indian and Russian forces

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New Delhi | Updated: December 9, 2018 5:21:15 PM

Ahead of the Indian-Russian Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical cooperation later in the week, India Russian Navies and Air Force are set for their joint exercises here in India.

INDRA navy, AviaIndia, Maritime security, joint exercises between india and russia, RuFN shipsAVIAINDRA-2018 is the second in the series of bilateral joint exercise between IAF-RFSAF.

Ahead of the Indian-Russian Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical cooperation later in the week, India Russian Navies and Air Force are set for their joint exercises here in India. Russian Federation Navy (RuFN) Ships Varyag, Admiral Panteleyev and Boris Butoma arrived in Visakhapatnam to participate in INDRA NAVY, the bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Russian Federation Navy exercise which started on Sunday.

The main aim of the 10th edition of exercise INDRA NAVY from Dec 9-16 is to increase inter-operability amongst the two navies, develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.

The second in the series of bilateral service specific Ex AVIAINDRA, — Indian Air Force and Russian Federation Aerospace Force (RFSAF), is starting on Monday at Air Force Station Jodhpur from Dec 10-21. AVIAINDRA-2018 is the second in the series of bilateral joint exercise between IAF-RFSAF. The exercise is planned in two phases.

According to the Indian Air Force, “The exercise is unique wherein the foreign participant does not bring its air assets. In Russia, the IAF pilots flew alongside their Russian counterparts in RFSAF aircraft at Lipetsk from 17 Sep 18 to 28 Sep 18. In India, the RFSAF pilots will fly alongside their Indian counterparts in the IAF aircraft, which are common to both Air Forces.”

The inaugural IAF-RFSAF Ex AVIAINDRA was conducted in 2014. During exercise INDRA NAVY-18, the Indian Navy would be represented by INS Ranvir, a guided missile destroyer, INS Satpura, an indigenous frigate, INS Kadmatt, an indigenous anti- submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, IN Ships Kuthar and Khanjar both indigenous missile corvettes and INS Jyoti, a fleet tanker. In addition, one Sindhughosh class submarine, Dornier maritime patrol aircraft, Hawk fighter aircraft and other integral rotary wing helicopters would be taking part in the exercise.

The Indian Navy ships participating in the exercise would be under the Command of Rear Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Fleet. Ships of the Russian Federation Navy (RuFN) would be under the Command of Rear Admiral Mikhailov Edward Evgenievich, Chief of the Headquarters, Submarine Forces, Pacific Fleet and ships from the Pacific Fleet, based at Vladivostok.

Over the years, since starting in 2003, the exercise has evolved and has matured with increase in scope, complexity and level of participation.

Explaining the plan of the exercises, the official spokesperson of the Indian Navy, Capt DK Sharma said, “This edition of the exercise would be held in two phases. The Harbour Phase would be held at Visakhapatnam from Dec 9-12 and would encompass planning conferences, professional interactions, cultural visits, sports fixtures and formal calls between Flag Officers/ Senior Officers of participating navies.”

“The Sea Phase from Dec 13-16 would be conducted in the Bay of Bengal. The thrust of exercises at sea would be on Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW), Air Defence drills, Surface Firings, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) operations and tactical procedures.”

As has been reported earlier, the Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba had visited Russia in November to consolidate bilateral defence relations and to explore new avenues for defence cooperation.

Exercise INDRA NAVY-18 would help to further strengthen mutual confidence and inter-operability and also enable sharing of best practices between both the navies. The exercise will be yet another milestone in strengthening maritime security cooperation between the two navies and will serve to reinforce the long standing bond of friendship between the countries.

The two countries in 2018 have participated in the Army Games 2018, Army 2018 and Moscow Conference on International Security. In July this year, Ex Peace Mission 2018, the joint military exercise of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), took place in Russia with participation from eight member countries undertaking joint training on combating terrorism. Countries including India, China, Kazakhstan and Russia had showcased their armoured and mechanised forces.

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