Indian & Russian Navy Hold Staff Talks ahead of INDRA-2019 Triservices Exercise

Senior staff officers from the Indian and Russian Navy held the 4th round of Saff Talks at New Delhi on October 30 2019. The talks were co-chaired by Rear Admiral Atul Anand, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Foreign Cooperation and Intelligence) from the Indian Navy (IN) and Rear Admiral Vladimir Zemskov, Deputy Chief of Russian Naval Staff (Signals) from the RuFN.

According to an Indian Government press statement, "The talks covered operational interaction through  "INDRA"  series of exercises; training interaction; sharing of best practices; medical and Logistics cooperation and exchange of high level visits."

The INDRA series of exercises are held annually between the Armies, Air  Forces and Navies of Russia and India. 

In 2017, the two countries held the first tri-services edition of the exercise at Vladivostok. INDRA-2017 marked the first time that Russia hosted a Tri-Services Exercise on its soil. 

In 2018, the INDRA series was held separately between the three services of the nations.

The Indra-2019, will once again be a tri-services exercise. It will be held in December at Indian Army land and Indian Navy Sea ranges as well as Indian Air Forces bases. About 300 servicemen of the Russian Eastern Military District will participate in the drills.

The Eastern Military District in a press release in September 2019 stated, "In order to participate in joint Russian-Indian multi-service exercise, INDRA, the Russian side plans to send over 40 aircraft of various types, including 15 fighter jets, about 20 military-transport aircraft and more than five army aviation helicopters to the Republic of India".

A naval group from the Russian Baltic  Fleet will participate. It will  include two warships, a fleet tanker, a helicopter and two or three motor boats.

The sea part of INDRA-2019 would be held from December 10 to December 19. 

After the talks in New Delhi, the Russian Navy staff delegation visited training units at Goa and met with Flag Officer Goa Naval Area (FOGA). 

Russia supplied 45 MiG-29K/KUB fighters to India for operations from IN's operational aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (formerly Admiral Groshkov of the RuFN) and under construction aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant. 

The IN base at Goa - INS Hansa -  hosts one of the two IN squadrons - INAS 300, White Tigers - equipped with MiG-29 K/KUB fighters. INAS 300 trains MiG-29 pilots for aircraft carrier operation at the Shore Based Training Facility (SBTF) at INS Hansa, which was set up with Russian assistance.



Source: Vijainder K Thakur

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