NEW DELHI – Indian and Russian armed forces are set to hold first ever tri services joint exercise – Exercise INDRA-2017 – to give a major boost to defence cooperation, Indian defence ministry said.
The drill, which is going to be started in the Eastern Military District of Russia from October 19-29, 2017, is being framed as large-scale military exercises. It will be conducted at the 249th Combined Army Range Sergeevisky and in the Sea of Japan near Vladivostok.
The two countries have been holding annual naval exercises since 2003 but this is the first time that all military services will participate in the drill.
“Exercise INDRA in its previous nine avatars has been conducted as a single service exercise alternately between the two countries. The year 2017 marks a major milestone as this Exercise has been upgraded to involve all the three Services of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy & Air Force), which further accentuates the importance of Joint Services in the present world environment,” read the statement.
Around 350 personnel from Army, 80 from Air Force, two IL 76 aircraft and one Frigate and Corvette each from the Navy will represent India.
The Russian Federation Armed Forces will be represented by approximately 1000 troops of the 5th Army, Marines and Ships of Pacific Fleet and aircraft from Eastern Military District.
The scope of the Exercise includes professional interactions, establishment of joint command and control structures between the Indian and Russian forces and elimination of terrorist threat in a multinational environment under the UN mandate.
The announcement of tri services exercise follows a recently settled months-long military tussle between India and China at a disputed area in the Himalayas.
In June, the standoff had sparked between the countries when Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops started constructing a concrete road in Doklam area that separates India from its ally, Bhutan, and enables China to have access to an area links India and its remote northeast regions.