NEW DELHI, December 7. /TASS/. The eighth Russian-Indian naval exercise Indra Navy started on Monday in the Bay of Bengal, off India’s state of Andhra Pradesh, said an official representative of the Indian Navy.
The six-day exercise consists of two stages - "Harbour', taking place from December 7 to 9, and "Sea", due from December 10 to 12, he said. In the first stage, seamen of the two countries will train all kinds of land cooperation.
Russia has delegated its Pacific Fleet’s flag ship - Project 1164 (NATO reporting name: Slava-class) Varyag guided missile cruiser, Project 956 (Sovremenny-class) Bystry destroyer, Boris Butoma oceangoing tanker and Alatau rescue tug.
India is represented by the Shivalik-class Sahyadri multirole frigate, Soviet-built Project 61-ME Nadyozhny-class Ranvir destroyer, Shakti tanker carrying the combined exercise-directing staff, Project 877EKM Sindhuvir diesel-electric submarine, a Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol plane, a Dornier Do-228 coast guard plane, two BAE Systems Hawk Mk132 trainers and several helicopters.
Launched in quite a modest format in 2003, these naval exercises have grown into full-scale maneuvers with bigger capacity, complexity of operations and the level of participation, the Indian source said.
A source told TASS on Friday that the exercise will practice the protection of surface ships from submarines and fire against surface and air targets.
A ship seized by a hypothetical terrorist group will be freed. Assault groups will land on board with helicopter support, the source added.
In November, Russia and India held a joint ground exercise Indra with more than 500 men on both sides taking part. Operations against armed groups and mine clearing were practiced.