Bilateral maritime exercise between Indian and Russian Navy begins in Bay of Bengal

Indian Navy has deployed guided missile destroyer Ranvijay, indigenous frigate Sahyadri and fleet tanker Shakti

New Delhi (NVI): The 11th edition of exercise ‘INDRA NAVY’, a biennial bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Russian Navy commenced today in Bay of Bengal.

The exercise INDRA NAVY was started in 2003, it epitomises the long-term strategic relationship between the two Navies.

“Whilst the exercise is being undertaken in the Bay of Bengal, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, is on a visit to Moscow on the invitation of Defence Minister of the Russian Federation, General Sergei Shoigu to discuss bilateral cooperation and issues of mutual interest and commemoration of the 75th anniversary of victory in World War II,” the Indian Navy said in a statement.

The primary aim of exercise INDRA NAVY-20 is to further consolidate inter-operability built up by the two Navies over the years and also to enhance understanding and procedures for multi-faceted maritime operations. The scope of this edition includes wide-ranging and diverse activities across the spectrum of maritime operations, it added.

Due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the two-day naval exercise would be undertaken in a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ format.

The Indian Navy has deployed guided missile destroyer Ranvijay, indigenous frigate Sahyadri and fleet tanker Shakti, along with their integral helicopters. However, Sahyadri has been presently redeployed to provide assistance to MT New Diamond, which has caught fire off the coast of Sri Lanka.

Moreover, the Russian Federation Navy is being represented by destroyer Admiral Vinogradov, destroyer Admiral Tributs and fleet tanker Boris Butoma of the Pacific Fleet, based at Vladivostok, the Indian Navy said.

The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving understanding and imbibing best practices between the two navies, and would involve surface and anti-aircraft drills, firing exercises, helicopter operations, seamanship evolutions etc. The last edition of the exercise was conducted off Visakhapatnam in December 2018.

Indian Navy also said, the exercise INDRA NAVY-20 will help to further boost mutual confidence and cooperation between the two Navies and would reinforce the long-standing bond of friendship between the two countries.