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India and Russia begin naval engagement off Vladivostoknews
25 April 2007
Vladivostok, Russia: Indian and Russian naval forces are currently engaged in what have been described by the Russian Navy's Pacific Fleet as "anti-terror exercises." The exercises are currently taking place in the Pyotr Veliky Bay, off the major port city and naval base of Vladivostok.

Units of both the navies are engaging each other in drills to protect shipping, combating sea piracy and other anti-terrorist related measures.

The manoeuvers envisage the landing of helicopters on board Russian and Indian ships, and the landing of commandos to free a ship seized by terrorists. Ship based anti-submarine operations will also be conducted.

Russian Il-38 maritime reconnaissance aircraft, along with S-27 fighter aircraft, as well as Ka-27PS and Ka-27PL helicopters will also be part of the operations. The Indian Navy's Sea King helicopters are expected to land on board the Marshal Shaposhnikov, a Russian submarine hunter.

A highlight of the naval engagement is expected to be a live firing exercise that will destroy a " terrorist boat." Exercises will include clearing mines from shipping lanes.

Apart from depth charges, used to destroy submarines, the ships will also rescue a "foundering ship" with the help of a tugboat. This last, will mark the end of the joint engagement between the two forces.

On the Russian side, it's Pacific Fleet is putting the Marshal Shaposhnikov, the Admiral Vinogradov, a missile boat, a diesel submarine, several mine sweepers, the tanker Pechenga and two tugboats out to sea for the exercises. The Indian Navy flotilla is composed of guided missile destroyers INS Mysore, Ranjit and Rana, the missile corvette INS Kutar and fleet tanker, INS Jyoti.

The Russian flotilla is being commanded by Vice Admiral Sergei Avramenko while commander of the Primorye All-Arms Group, Rear Admiral Viktor Chirkov heads the ship group.

In a surprising move, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Indian Navy's Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral Sangram Singh Byce has also arrived to attend the exercises.

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India and Russia begin naval engagement off Vladivostok