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On the occasion of 'Navy Day', the Indian Navy on Friday began a two-day Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Russian Federation Navy (RuFN) in the Eastern Indian Ocean Region (IOR) aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving understanding and imbibing best practices between both the navies.

The exercise would also involve advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, weapon firings, seamanship exercises and helicopter operations, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

"The exercise involves the participation of RuFN guided-missile cruiser Varyag, the large anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleyev and medium ocean tanker Pechenga. Indian Navy is being represented by indigenously constructed guided-missile frigate Shivalik and anti-submarine corvette Kadmatt along with integral helicopters," it said.

The defence ministry said the two navies have built a robust relationship through regular exercises such as INDRA Navy conducted biennially
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The defence ministry said the two navies have built a robust relationship through regular exercises such as INDRA Navy conducted biennially (PIB )

"The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving understanding and imbibing best practices between both the friendly navies, and would involve advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, weapon firings, seamanship exercises and helicopter operations," the release said.

It said PASSEXs are conducted regularly by Indian Navy with units of friendly foreign navies, whilst visiting each other's ports or during a rendezvous at sea.

"This exercise, being conducted in the eastern Indian Ocean Region, reflects the strong long-term strategic relationship between the two countries and particularly, defence cooperation in the maritime domain," the release said.

This exercise is being conducted on the occasion of 'Navy Day' on December 4, which emphasizes strong bonds of friendship shared between the two friendly militaries.

"This PASSEX would be another step towards strengthening Indo-Russian defence relations," the release said.

The ministry also said the two navies have built a robust relationship through regular exercises such as INDRA Navy conducted biennially, with the last edition held in the northern Indian Ocean Region on September 4 and 5 this year.

Moreover, on the occasion of Navy Day, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on described the Indian Navy as an "outstanding force.

In a tweet, Singh hailed the Indian Navy's professionalism and particularly mentioned its efforts to keep India's sea lanes safe.

"On the occasion of #indiannavyday2020 my greetings and best wishes to all personnel of this outstanding force. The @indiannavy is at the forefront of keeping our seas safe by ensuring maritime security. I salute their valour, courage and professionalism," Singh said.

Chief of Army Staff Gen MM Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria paid their tributes to the country's fallen heroes at the National War Memorial on the occasion of the Navy Day.

Navy Day is celebrated every year on December 4 to commemorate the Indian Navy's achievement in inflicting heavy damage on Pakistani vessels in Karachi harbour during the India-Pakistan war in 1971.

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