India and Russia to hold INDRA exercise in the Bay of Bengal

The photo from INDRA 2019

According to the local press in India, the Indian and Russian navies will hold a naval exercise called “INDRA” in the Bay of Bengal on September 4 and 5 to bolster their operational interoperability in dealing with emerging security challenges.

As part of the INDRA Navy exercise, a plethora of maritime drills such as gun firing on the surface and aerial targets, tracking exercises and replenishment at sea approaches are planned.

The Indian Navy has significantly expanded its presence in the Indian Ocean Region, deploying warships and submarines following the border row to send across a message to China as the maritime space around the Malacca Strait is very critical for China’s supply chain through sea routes.

In July, the Indian Navy carried out a military exercise with a US Navy carrier strike group led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz off the coast of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The INDRA exercise was earlier planned in Vladivostok in Russia but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Russian Navy ships Admiral Vinogradov, Admiral Tributs and Boris Butoma along with a fleet of helicopters will participate in the exercise.

The Indian Navy will deploy Ranvijay (destroyer), Sahyadri (frigate) and Kiltan (corvette) and Shakti (tanker) with integrated helicopters. The exercise will be “non-contact and at sea only” passage exercise.

The Russian naval fleet is visiting the port of Hambantota in Sri Lanka from August 31 to September 3. India-Russia Indra exercises have been taking place since 2005.

The Indian Navy carried out similar exercises with the Japanese navy in June.