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Indra-2019 drills to strengthen Russia-India friendship — commander

Russia is represented in the military exercise by over 700 servicemen

BABINA TRAINING RANGE /INDIA/, December 11. /TASS/. The Indra-2019 Russian-Indian drills that kicked off at the Babina practice range in India contribute to the friendship between the two countries, maneuvers commander from the Indian side, Chief of Staff of the Southern Command of the Indian Armed Forces Lieutenant General Dapinder Singh Ahuja said on Wednesday.

"These drills that have opened today in Central India are aimed at strengthening friendship between our two countries. This is because Russia is our long-standing and proven friend," the commander said after an official ceremony of opening the maneuvers.

"These are the first Indra three-service force drills running on Indian territory. The first such multi-service force maneuvers were held in 2017 in Russia. They contribute to maintaining peace and gearing up for joint actions and peace-keeping operations under the UN aegis," the Indian lieutenant general added.

In turn, maneuvers commander from the Russian side, Major General Oleg Tsekov noted that the drills would facilitate to developing ties between the armies of the partner countries.

"They are aimed at enhancing interaction between the servicemen of our countries at the operational level," he said.

Indra-2019 drills

The Indra-2019 drills are a multi-service force military exercise that will last ten days. About 300 Russian troops and around the same number of the Indian personnel arrived at the Babina training range. The air and naval components of the drills kicked off on Wednesday, the drills’ press office told TASS.

The Indra-2019 drills will run at training ranges of three Indian states. Russia is represented in the military exercise by over 700 servicemen, including units of the all-arms army of the Eastern Military District, pilots and technicians of the District’s Air Force and Air Defense Army, and also the crews of the Baltic Fleet warships.

The Russian troops will use the tanks and armored personnel carriers and also the aircraft provided by the receiving side for the period of the drills. The drills will run through December 21.