Exercise Indra 2018: India-Russia to ramp up military ties

By: FE Online | Published: November 13, 2018 7:50 PM

To further ramp up military ties, India and Russia will hold joint military exercises in Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh from Nov 18.

To further ramp up military ties, India and Russia will hold joint military exercises in Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh from Nov 18. The upcoming exercise which will provide an opportunity to the armed forces of both countries to train in counter-terrorism operations in a multinational scenario.

According to the defence ministry official spokesperson, “Exercise Indra 2018″ will begin at the Babina Field Firing Ranges. This forms part of a drill to combat insurgency under the UN aegis.”

Exercise INDRA is being conducted since last nine years as a single service exercise alternately between the two countries. Since its inception in 2003, the INDRA military exercise between the two countries has alternatively involved ground and naval forces from both sides.

Next week, during the 11-day long training exercise will see participation of about 250 servicemen of motorised infantry units of Russia’s Eastern Military District (EMD) deployed in the Primorye Region (in the Far East, and a mechanised infantry battalion of India will participate. The aim of the exercise is to practice joint planning and conduct enhances interoperability of the two Armies in peacekeeping and enforcement environment under UN aegis.
Before the India-Russia annual summit in October, the preparations for the joint Russian-Indian exercise, Indra-2018, had taken place in India when it was decided to have the training to have the exercise at a training ground near the town of Babina in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Both countries have been a long-standing defence partners and are now seeking ways of further deepening the ties and have decided to “upgrade and intensify” defence cooperation through joint manufacture, co-production and co-development of key military hardware and equipment.

The two countries will also be having meeting of the Indian-Russian Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical cooperation in Dec this year. According to the joint statement that had been released at the end of the Indo-Russian annual summit in Oct “the roadmap for Military Cooperation has paved way for greater interaction between the militaries of both countries, including in training, exchange of senior functionaries of the militaries, Staff talks and Exercises.”

Both countries have participated in the Army Games 2018, Army 2018 and Moscow Conference on International Security. Also had successfully completed the first-ever Tri-Services Exercise INDRA 2017 and since early this year have participated in Joint Military Exercises – INDRA Navy, INDRA Army and Avia INDRA – in 2018.

In 2017, Exercise INDRA was conducted at the 249th Combined Army Range Sergeevisky and in the Sea of Japan near Vladivostok. From India 350 personnel from Army, 80 from Air Force, two IL 76 aircraft, and one Frigate and Corvette each from the Navy were part of the contingent. And the Russian side was represented by approx 1000 troops of the 5th Army, Marines and Ships of Pacific Fleet, and aircraft from Eastern Military District.

In July this year, Ex Peace Mission 2018, the joint military exercise of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), took place in Russia with participation from eight member countries undertaking joint training on combating terrorism. Countries including India, China, Kazakhstan and Russia had showcased their armoured and mechanised forces.

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