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Russia, India to conduct counter-terrorism exercises

The two countries will conduct joint naval counter-terrorism exercises on April 24-26, making it the third such exercise since 2003.

world Updated: Apr 18, 2007 03:26 IST

Russia and India will conduct joint naval counter-terrorism exercises in the Sea of Japan on April 24-26, the press service of Russia's Pacific Fleet said on Tuesday.

INDRA-2007 is a biennial joint exercise between the Russian and Indian navies aimed at practicing cooperative engagement in the fight against terrorism. It will be the third such exercise since 2003.

Russia will be represented by two large anti-submarine ships, a missile boat, a diesel submarine, a group of mine-sweepers, a tanker, two tug boats, two Ka-27 Helix helicopters and an Il-38 May maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.

The Indian naval group will comprise three missile destroyers, a missile corvette and a tanker.

The exercises will include surface live ammunition firing, air defence and anti-submarine warfare manoeuvres. The naval groups will also practice operations related to maintaining maritime order and countering piracy, terrorism and drug smuggling.

Military cooperation between the two nations goes back nearly 50 years, with India accounting for about 40 percent of Russian arms exports. Eighty percent of India's Armed Forces, the second- largest in the region, are equipped with Russian weaponry.

The two countries have signed a host of arms deals, including most recently an agreement on the transfer of Russian technology to build RD-33 jet engines in India and to develop a military transport plane together - seen as a move to secure a contract for 126 MiG-35 jet fighters against the backdrop of fierce competition from the US, Sweden and France.