Objective is to enhance interoperability

INDRA, joint military exercise with Russia, is being held in Mumbai from November 28 to December 3.

Destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov, replenishment oiler Irkut and rescue tug Alatau of the Russian Federation’s Navy Pacific Fleet (PF) Task Unit and India’s INS Mysore and INS Tabar are participating in the exercise.

INDRA began in year 2003 and is being conducted every two years.

“The main objective of this exercise is to enhance interoperability, which will be useful if both the navies are working against the common threat like the pirates in the Gulf of Aden. It will be helpful for wider cooperation and mutual understanding between two navies,” said Captain Krishna Swaminathan, Commanding Officer of INS Mysore. The navies will work on communication between ships, sending signals and guarding civil ships from pirate attacks. It also involves live firing drills, air defence and anti- submarine exercises.

Capt. Swaminathan said Indian ships were focussing hard on tackling the problem of Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden. “At such situations, we need to work in coordination with naval ships from other countries. Joint exercises turn out to be useful while tackling such common threats,” he said.

Andrey Kuznetsov, Captain of Marshal Shaposhnikov, said such joint exercises were confidence building measures undertaken by both nations. “Indian ships act strongly and professionally. We will also learn many things from our Indian counterparts,” he said.

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