Mega-exercise aimed at achieving better coordination.
New Delhi: In a bid to enhance military ties in the backdrop of a changing regional security scenario, Indian Army, Navy and Air Force will embark on a mega joint war game with their Russian counterparts in October.
The exercise called Indra will be held in Russia from October 19 to 29, will aim at achieving coordination between the forces of the two countries in a tri- services integrated theatre command scenario, military sources said.
The exercise will involve live firing drills, air defence and anti-submarine operations with anti-terror, counter-piracy, combating drug smuggling to be the other focus areas of the joint exercise.
It will be the first time India will participate in a tri-services exercise with a foreign country with such a large scale participation by the Navy, the Army and the Air Force, they said. A total of 350 Indian Army personnel will participate at the mega exercise and the contingent will be led by a major- general rank official. The contingents by the Navy and the IAF will also be sizeable in numbers, the sources said.
The exercise is taking place at a time when India’s ties with China have nose-dived due to the simmering border dispute and its ties with Pakistan have deteriorated over cross-border terrorism and number of other issues. Sources said the exercise will take place in three locations in Russia including in the mountainous Vladivostok region. The Armies, Navies and Air Forces of Russia are holding bilateral exercises separately but for the first time, both countries will carry out a tri-services exercise.
Russia has been a long standing defence partner of India and both countries are now eyeing to further deepen their ties.
During PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia in June, both countries decided to “upgrade and intensify” defence cooperation through joint manufacture, co-production and co-development of key military equipment.