NEW DELHI: The eighth edition of a bilateral exercise between the Indian and Russian navies–INDRA NAVY kickstarts from Monday and will continue till December 12. The exercise, which was initiated in 2003, will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal with an aim to strengthen the strategic relationship between the two countries.
“The primary aim of this exercise is to increase interoperability between the two navies and develop common understanding of procedures for maritime security operations,” said a Ministry of Defence press release.
The scope of INDRA NAVY- 2015 includes wide- ranging professional interactions during the Harbour phase and a diverse canvas of operational activities at sea across a spectrum of maritime operations, said the release.
The Indian Navy will be represented by its indigenous frigate INS Sahyadri, a guided missile destroyer INS Ranvijay and a fleet support ship INS Shakti in addition to a submarine INS Sindhuvir, P8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft, Dornier short-range maritime patrol aircraft and other integral rotary wing helicopters during the maritime exercise.
Representing the Russian Federation Navy (RFN), its Pacific Fleet Deputy Commander Vice Admiral Ryabukhin Andrey will lead RFN ships Varyag (cruiser), Bystry (destroyer), Alatau (rescue ocean going tug) and Boris Butoma (fleet tanker) which have arrived in Visakhapatnam Sunday.
The exercise will be organised in two phases – the Harbour Phase during December 7 to December 9 at Visakhapatnam and the Sea Phase during December 10 to December 12, off the coast of Visakhapatnam. The Harbour Phase would encompass table–top exercises and planning conferences ashore, prior progressing to sea, while the Sea Phase would include various facets of fleet operations.
The release also stated that the Indra Navy-15 would be another milestone in strengthening the maritime security cooperation between the two navies and also serve to reinforce the long standing friendship between the two nations.