India and Russia will hold their annual bilateral naval exercise ‘Indra Navy-16’ from Wednesday in the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Navy said on Tuesday.
The 9th edition of the joint exercise -- which started in 2003 -- will be held till December 21.
“The primary aim of Indra Navy-16 is to increase inter-operability between the two navies and develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations,” an official statement said.
“The scope of the exercise includes wide-ranging professional interactions in harbour phase and a diverse canvas of operational activities across a spectrum of maritime operations at sea,” the statement added.
“The exercise has matured over the years with the increase in scope, complexity of operations and level of participation,” the Indian Navy said.
During the exercise, the Indian Navy will be represented by INS Ranvir, a guided missile destroyer; INS Satpura, an indigenous frigate; and INS Kamorta, an indigenous anti-submarine warfare corvette.
In addition, an Indian submarine, P8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft, Dornier short-range maritime patrol aircraft, Hawk advanced jet trainer and other integral rotary wing helicopters are scheduled to participate.
The Russian Federation Navy will be represented by Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhalov, Deputy Chief of Flotilla, Pacific Fleet, and ships from the Pacific Fleet, based at Vladivostok.
Russian naval cruiser Admiral Tributus and fleet tanker Boris Butoma are expected to arrive at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh on December 14 to participate in exercise.
The exercise will comprise two phases -- the Harbour Phase from December 14 to 18 at Visakhapatnam; and the Sea Phase from December 19 to 21 off Visakhapatnam coast.
The Harbour Phase will encompass table-top exercises, planning conferences, and professional interactions prior to progressing to sea.
The thrust of the sea exercises this year will be on anti-submarine warfare, air defence drills, surface firings, visit board search and seizure and tactical procedures.
“Indra Navy will help to further strengthen mutual confidence and inter-operability, and also enable sharing of best practices between both navies,” the Indian Navy said.
“The exercise will be another milestone in strengthening maritime security cooperation between the two navies and will also serve to reinforce the longstanding bond of friendship between the two countries,” it added.