India and Russia began the ninth edition of their bilateral naval exercise, Indra Navy, in the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday. The eight-day military exercise, which will continue till December 21, is aimed at increasing interoperability between the two Navies and developing a common understanding of procedures for maritime security operations, a statement issued by the Indian Navy said.
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, it added. The thrust of exercises at sea this year will be on anti-submarine warfare, air defence drills, surface firings, visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) and tactical procedures.
The scope of exercise also includes a diverse canvas of operational activities across a spectrum of maritime operations at sea. 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 to these, a submarine, P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Dornier Short Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer and other integral rotary wing helicopters are also participating in the exercise. Similarly, Russian Federation Navy (RFN) is being represented by ships from the Pacific Fleet, based at Vladivostok.
The exercise will be done in two phases.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.