India, Russia to hold naval exercise in Bay of Bengal

Russian and Indian Navy ships will be taking part in a wide range of drills in the Bay of Bengal from December 14 to 21, the Indian press office announced.

In existence since 2003, this will be the 9th edition of the bilateral maritime exercise dubbed Indra Navy.

The primary aim of the exercise will be to increase inter-operability between the two navies and develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.

Drills will include interactions in harbor phase and a diverse canvas of operational activities across a spectrum of maritime operations at sea.

Participating units will focus on anti submarine warfare, air defence drills, surface firings, visit board search ans seizure (VBSS) and tactical procedures.

Indian Navy ships that will take part in the exercise include guided missile destroyer INS Ranvir, indigenous frigate INS Satpura and the ASW corvette INS Kamorta. The exercise will also be joined by an Indian submarine, P8I long range maritime patrol aircraft and Dornier short range maritime patrol aircraft among other assets.

The Russian Navy will be represented by Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhalov, Deputy Chief of the Pacific Fleet Flotilla, and ships from the Pacific Fleet, based at Vladivostok. Russian cruiser Admiral Tributus and fleet tanker Boris Butoma are expected to arrive at Visakhapatnam on December 14 to participate in the exercise.