India and Russia have begun discussions to work out the modalities for their first tri-service military exercise to be held in October. It will also be India’s first bilateral military exercise with any country involving all three services.
“The Indra exercise is scheduled from October 19 to 29. The Final Planning Conference (FPC) will be held from September 12 to 15 in Russia. All logistical issues and modalities will be finalised here,” an Army source told The Hindu.
In April, the two countries decided to upgrade Indra from an individual service exercise into an integrated tri-service.
“The aim of the exercise is to carry out joint exercises for suppression of international terrorist activities under the United Nations mandate,” the source added.
The Army will send about 350 soldiers from the infantry, artillery and armoured streams.
Heavy equipment ::
While the soldiers will take with them infantry weapons, ammunition, radio sets and related equipment, the issue of taking T-72 tanks and other heavy equipment will be decided in the FPC.
The Navy is fielding two ships, a stealth frigate, INS Satpura, and an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, INS Kadmatt, along with two on-board helicopters. The naval component is likely to include an ASW component, the details of which are awaited.
The Air Force, which flies a large number of Russian aircraft, is likely to share fighter jets of the host. Details of contingent and other support elements would be decided in the planning conference.
Finding synergy ::
“This will be an opportunity for India to synergise jointness between its services and see how other countries function jointly,” one defence official said referring to India’s efforts for tri-service integration.
The headquarters of the Integrated Defence Staff under the Defence Ministry is leading the exercises from the Indian side.
By: The Hindu
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