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NEW DELHI, October 19 (Itar-Tass) - The first stage of the seventh joint exercises of Russian and Indian armies - Indra 2013 - began on Saturday in the north-western Indian state of Rajasthan.
On Friday, two Ilyushin-76 military transport aircrafts brought to India servicemen of the 11th Airborne Assault formation deployed in Buryatia as a part of the Eastern Military District, a source close to the Russian military- industrial complex told Itar-Tass.
«At the first stage, the military will carry out equipment reception,” the source said. “The exercises involve about 500 people - 250 on each side - and more than 30 pieces of equipment - T-72 tanks and infantry fighting vehicles BMP- 2 and BMP -2K /of commander modifications/."
The source says, the purpose of the exercise is «to practice joint actions to identify, block, follow and destruct illegal armed groups in semi-desert areas."
"The exercises are sort of divided into several stages,” the source added. “After receiving the equipment, the military will organise a joint staff and will begin planning the operation, train tactical groups in combat tasks. At the last stage, they will organise a joint group of forces, practice search and intelligence activities, blocking a specified area, harassment and destruction of an illegal armed formation."
The Indra - 2013 exercises will feature firing and competitions between crews. The manoeuvres will continue to October 28. The opening ceremony is scheduled for October 20.
The Indra Russian -Indian exercises have been held in Russia and India in turn since 2003. In addition to the land forces, they are also held for the navy.