Visakhapatnam: India and Russia on Wednesday today started their naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal with an aim to increase interoperability and strengthen security cooperation between the two maritime forces.
The 9th edition of Indra Navy-16, a bilateral exercise between the navies of the two close allies, will continue till December 21, an official statement said here.
Initiated in 2003, Indra Navy epitomises the strong long-term strategic relationship between the two countries. The exercise has matured over the years with increase in scope, complexity of operations and level of participation, said the statement by Indian Navy here.
The primary aim of the exercise is to increase interoperability among the two navies and develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations. Its scope includes wide-ranging professional interactions in harbour and a diverse canvas of operational activities across a spectrum of maritime operations at sea, it said.
During the eight-day long military manoeuvre, the Indian Navy is being represented by INS Ranvir, a guided missile destroyer, INS Satpura, an indigenous frigate, and INS Kamorta, an indigenous Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) corvette.
In addition, an Indian submarine, P8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft, Dornier short range maritime patrol aircraft, Hawk advanced jet Trainer and other integral rotary wing helicopters are scheduled to participate in the drill.
The Russian Federation Navy (RFN) is being represented by ships from the Pacific Fleet, based at Vladivostok. RFN ships Admiral Tributs (cruiser) and Boris Butoma (fleet tanker) are also taking part.
The exercise is taking place in two phases - the Harbour (Dec 14-18) at Visakhapatnam and the Sea (Dec 19-21) off the coast here.
The Harbour Phase encompasses table-top exercises, planning conferences and professional interaction. The Sea Phase includes various facets of fleet operations such as air defence drills, boarding operations, anti-surface and anti-air gun firings, anti-submarine exercises with ASW rocket firing.
Indra Navy-16 will help to further strengthen mutual confidence and enable sharing of best practices between both navies. The exercise is another milestone in strengthening maritime security cooperation between the two navies and will also serve to reinforce the long standing bond of friendship between India and Russia, the statement added.