Three Russian navy ships have arrived in Goa to participate in the second edition of a tri-services exercise between the armed forces of India and Russia, officials said on Wednesday.
The aim of exercise INDRA 2019 is to enhance interoperability and develop an understanding in order to effectively tackle common security challenges, they said.
“The Russian Federation Navy (RuFN) Ships Yaroslav Mudry, Viktor Konetsky and Elyna arrived at Goa on December 10 to participate in INDRA 2019, the second edition of the tri-services exercise between the Indian and the Russian armed forces,” the Indian defence ministry said in a statement.
The naval component of the exercise would be conducted off the coast of Goa from December 10-19.
INDRA initially began as a bilateral naval exercise between the Indian and the Russian Federation navies in 2003. The exercise has now assumed a tri-service scope with corresponding maturity and gradual increase in complexity and level of participation, it said.
“This year, the naval component of the exercise would be held in two phases. The harbour phase would be held at Goa from December 10-15 and encompass planning conferences, professional interactions, cultural visits, sports fixtures and formal calls between flag officers and senior officers of the participating navies,” it said.
The sea phase of the exercise would be conducted in the Arabian Sea from December 16-19, officials said.
“The focus area for the exercise at sea would be underway replenishment, air defence drills, surface firings, visits board search and seizure (VBSS) operations and other tactical procedures, the statement said.
The Indian Navy would be represented by INS Aditya, a fleet support ship and INS Tarkash, a frontline guided missile frigate. In addition, Dornier and P8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft, MiG-29K fighter aircraft and other integral rotary wing helicopters would also participate in the exercise, it said.
The Indian Army will be fielding a Ghatak Platoon in the validation exercise on December 18, whereas an assortment of Su-30MKI and Jaguar military jets, Mi-17 helicopters and an airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft will be participating from the Indian Air Force, the ministry said.
“Tri-services Ex INDRA 2019 would help further strengthen mutual confidence and interoperability and also enable sharing of best practices between the armed forces of both countries.
“The exercise will be yet another milestone in strengthening security cooperation and will serve to reinforce the long-standing bond of friendship between India and Russia,” it said.