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11th ‘Indra Navy’, India-Russia maritime exercise begins in the Bay of Bengal
New Delhi, September 5, 2020
The 11th edition of Indra Navy, a biennial bilateral maritime exercise between Indian and Russian Navies, began in the Bay of Bengal on Friday.
Initiated in 2003, the two-day exercise epitomises the long-term strategic relationship between the two Navies. It is being undertaken at a time when Defence Minister Rajnath Singh embarked on a visit to Moscow from September 3 on the invitation of Defence Minister of the Russian Federation, General Sergei Shoigu.
They will discuss bilateral cooperation and issues of mutual interest and commemoration of the 75th anniversary of victory in World War II.
A press release from the Ministry of Exercise said this exercise has matured over the years with an increase in scope, the complexity of operations and level of participation. Its primary aim is to further consolidate inter-operability built up by the two Navies over the years and also to enhance the understanding and procedures for multi-faceted maritime operations.
The scope of this edition includes wide-ranging and diverse activities across the spectrum of maritime operations. Due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, It will be in a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ format.
The Indian Navy is being represented by the guided-missile destroyer Ranvijay, indigenous frigate Sahyadri and fleet tanker Shakti, along with their integral helicopters.
Sahyadri has been redeployed to provide assistance to MT New Diamond, which has caught fire off the coast of Sri Lanka.
The Russian Federation Navy is represented by the destroyer Admiral Vinogradov, destroyer Admiral Tributs and fleet tanker Boris Butoma of the Pacific Fleet, based in Vladivostok.
"The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving understanding and imbibing best practices between the two navies. It would involve surface and anti-aircraft drills, firing exercises, helicopter operations, seamanship evolutions etc.," the release said.
The previous edition of the exercise was conducted off Visakhapatnam in December 2018.
"The exercise will help to further boost mutual confidence and cooperation between the two Navies and reinforce the long-standing bond of friendship between the two countries, the Ministry of Defence added.