The Russian and Indian navies have commenced joint naval exercises in the Arabian Sea off the Indian coast and will soon commence another operation in the Gulf of Aden, according to ministry of defence sources.
The operation, named INDRA, is a biennial Indo-Russian exercise in which both navies carry out drills aimed at enforcing maritime law, countering piracy, terrorism and drug smuggling. First begun in 2003, INDRA-2009 is now the fourth such exercise.
Sources suggest that the current exercises will also involve a number of live-fire exercises.
The two countries have also announced that they would conduct exercises off the coast of Somalia, which has proved to be a haven for pirates for the last three years.
India and Russia are already involved in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
Sources said that the Russian guided missile cruiser from its Northern Fleet, the Pyotr Veliky, and the Indian guided-missile destroyer INS Delhi would be are taking part in the first phase of the operations which will continue till 29 January.
An Udaloy class destroyer, a tugboat and two fuel tankers, which are carrying out anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden will be sent to Somalia before the end of this month.