India, Russia to hold joint military exercise in October
New Delhi: In the midst of evolving security situation in the region, India and Russia will hold a mega military exercise in October involving their armies, navies and the air forces for the first time to further ramp up military ties.
The exercise “Indra”, which will be held in Russia from 19 to 29 October, will primarily focus on achieving coordination between forces of the two countries in a tri- services integrated theatre command scenario, military officials said.
It will be for the first time that India will participate in a tri-services military exercise with a foreign country with such a large scale participation by the Navy, the Army and the Air Force (IAF), they said.
A total of 350 Indian Army personnel will participate in the mega exercise and the contingent will be led by a major- general rank official.
The contingents by the Navy and the Indian Air Force will also be sizeable in numbers, the officials said.
The military exercise is taking place at a time when India’s ties with China have nose-dived due to the simmering border dispute and its ties with Pakistan have deteriorated over cross-border terrorism and a number of other issues.
The officials said the exercise will take place in three locations in Russia including in mountainous Vladivostok region.
The Russian army, navy and air force are holding bilateral exercises separately but this is for the first time, both the countries will carry out a tri-services exercise.
Russia has been a long-standing defence partner of India and both the countries are now eyeing to further deepen the ties.
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia in June, both countries had decided to “upgrade and intensify” defence cooperation through joint manufacture, co-production and co-development of key military hardware and equipment.
A vision document, issued then had said that both the countries also decided to work towards a qualitatively higher level of military-to-military cooperation.
India has already decided to significantly ramp up its defence capability and has lined up billions of dollars of procurement proposals as part of military modernisation.