The eighth edition of `Indra Navy', the bilateral exercise between the Indian and Russian navies, started in the Bay of Bengal today. The joint exercises will conclude on 12 December.
The primary aim of the exercise is to increase interoperability between the two navies and develop common understanding of procedures for maritime security operations.
The scope of `Indra Navy- 15' includes wide-ranging professional interactions during the Harbour phase and a diverse canvas of operational activities at sea across a spectrum of maritime operations, a defence ministry release said.
Indian Navy will be represented at Indra Navy-15 by indigenous frigate INS Sahyadri, guided missile destroyer INS Ranvijay, and fleet support ship INS Shakti. In addition, a submarine, INS Sindhuvir, the 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 bilateral exercise.
The Russian Federation Navy (RFN) will be represented by V-Adm Ryabukhin Andrey, Deputy Commander of the Pacific Fleet and ships from the Pacific Fleet, based at Vladivostok. RFN ships Varyag (cruiser), Bystry (destroyer), Alatau (rescue ocean going tug) and Boris Butoma (fleet tanker) are expected to arrive at Visakhapatnam on 6 December to participate in INDRA NAVY-15.
The exercise will be progressed in two phases viz - the harbour phase (7-9 December) at Visakhapatnam and the sea phase (10-12 December) off Visakhapatnam. The harbour phase would encompass table-top exercises and planning conferences ashore, prior progressing to sea . The sea phase would include various facets of fleet operations.
`Indra Navy-15' will help to further strengthen mutual confidence and interoperability, and also enable sharing of best practices between both navies. The exercise will be another milestone in strengthening maritime security cooperation between the two navies and will also serve to reinforce the long standing bond of friendship between the two countries,'' the release added.
Initiated in 2003, the bilateral exercise between the Indian and Russian navies has matured over the years with increasing scope, complexity of operations and level of participation.