Indian, Russian navies commence ‘Indra Navy’ exercise in Bay of Bengal

04-09-2020

New Delhi, (UNI)

The 11th edition of exercise ‘Indra Navy’ between Indian and Russian navies commenced on Friday in the Bay of Bengal.

Indra Navy is a biennial bilateral maritime exercise between two navies.

The exercise was started in 2003, it epitomises the long-term strategic relationship between the two maritime forces, Indian Navy PRO Commander Vivek Madhwal said.

Whilst the exercise is being undertaken in the Bay of Bengal, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, is on a visit to Moscow from September 3 on the invitation of his Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu to discuss bilateral cooperation and issues of mutual interest and commemoration of the 75th anniversary of victory in World War II.

This exercise has matured over the years with increase in scope, complexity of operations and level of participation, he added.

The primary aim of exercise Indra Navy-2020 is to further consolidate inter-operability built up by the two navies over the years and also to enhance 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, Comamnder Madhwal said.

Due to restrictions imposed by the Covid pandemic, the drill would be undertaken in a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ format.

The Indian Navy will be represented by guided missile destroyer Ranvijay, indigenous frigate Sahyadri and fleet tanker Shakti along with their integral helicopters.

INS Sahyadri has been presently redeployed to provide assistance to MT New Diamond, which has caught fire off the coast of Sri Lanka, he said.

The Russian Navy will be represented by destroyer Admiral Vinogradov, destroyer Admiral Tributs and fleet tanker Boris Butoma of the Pacific Fleet, based at Vladivostok.

The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving understanding and imbibing best practices between the two navies, and would involve surface and anti-aircraft drills, firing exercises, helicopter operations, seamanship evolutions.

The last edition of the exercise was conducted off Visakhapatnam in December 2018.