India and Russia conclude the bilateral INDRA NAVY maritime exercise in the Bay of Bengal

INDRA, a joint bi-annual military exercise held from December 9-16, 2018 aims to increase interoperability amongst the two navies, develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.

The tenth edition of INDRA NAVY maritime exercise between India and Russia has been concluded in the Bay of Bengal near Visakhapatnam coast, Andhra Pradesh.

INDRA, a joint bi-annual military exercise held from December 9-16, 2018 aimed to increase interoperability amongst the two navies, develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.

The INDRA Naval exercise was held in two phases viz. Harbour Phase and Sea Phase. The Harbour Phase was held at Visakhapatnam from 9-12 December which included planning conferences, professional interactions and formal calls between Flag Officers and senior officers of the participating navies. The Sea Phase was conducted in the Bay of Bengal from 13-16 December focussing on Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), air defence drills, surface firings, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) operations and other tactical procedures.

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Image Source: ANI
India-Russian Naval Exercise- INDRA-2018/ Image Source: ANI

The Indian Navy was represented by guided missile destroyer INS Ranvir, indigenous frigate INS Satpura, indigenous anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette INS Kadmatt, indigenous missile corvettes ships INS Kuthar and INS Khanjar and a fleet tanker INS Jyoti. In addition, one Sindhughosh-class submarine, Dornier maritime patrol aircraft, Hawk fighter aircraft and other integral rotary wing helicopters had also taken part in the exercise.

The Russian Navy had sent ships from its Pacific fleet based at Vladivostok and included guided missile cruiser Varyag, Udaloy-class destroyer Admiral Panteleyev and a replenishment ship Boris Butoma.

India-Russian Naval Exercise- INDRA-2018/ Image Source: ANI

Initiated in 2003, these exercises were tasked with boosting cooperation and interoperability between the Russian and Indian navies. “The INDRA NAVY exercise has matured over the years with the increase in scope, complexity and level of participation,” a statement released by the Indian Navy said.

“During the exercise, sailors of Russia’s Pacific Fleet and Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet improved their practical skills of joint tactical manoeuvres, refuelling of ships from a tanker while in motion, an inspection of a suspicious vessel,” the Russian side said.

India-Russian Naval Exercise- INDRA-2018/ Image Source: ANI

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba had visited Russia from November 26-29 to consolidate bilateral defence relations and explore new avenues for defence cooperation, the release said.

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 Indian Navy said.

India-Russian Naval Exercise- INDRA-2018/ Image Source: ANI

The Indian Armed Forces interact with Russian Armed Forces on many fronts. Recently, the tenth joint military exercise between Indian and Russia ‘EXERCISE INDRA 2018’ was conducted at Babina Field Firing Ranges, Babina Military Station Jhansi.

India and Russia also jointly conducted a biennial Air Force level exercise called ‘Avia Indra’  to enhance co-operation and understanding between Air forces of both countries in each other’s Concept of Operations. The first phase of Avia Indra-18 was held in Lipetsk, Russia from September 17 to 28, 2018. The second session of Avia Indra-18 will be conducted in Jodhpur, Rajasthan from December 10 Dec to 22, 2018.

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