BABINA TRAIING RANGE /INDIA/, December 12. /TASS/. Russian troops held their first live-fire exercise at the Babina training range in the Indian state of Uttar-Pradesh during the land phase of the Indra-2019 joint multiservice force drills, the drills’ press office told TASS on Thursday.
The Russian personnel delivered fire from infantry fighting vehicles provided by the Indian side for the period of the drills and small arms, the press office said.
"At these Indra-2019 international drills, we need 14 BMP-2s [infantry fighting vehicles] and also seven tanks. They have transferred T-90 tanks of Indian manufacture to us. The combat hardware will be involved for accomplishing tactical and fire assignments. This is Russian military hardware operational in India," a Russian serviceman participating in the drills told TASS.
The Indra drills both contribute to strengthening bilateral relations and are a good venue for exchanging experience, he noted. "This experience is being exchanged between soldiers and privates and between officers. Experience is the most important thing," he stressed.
The servicemen of both countries carefully examined the combat vehicles, after which the Russian mechanic-drivers tested them on the move. As senior sergeant-technician Arun told TASS, the Indian T-90 tanks have been named Bhishma (in honor of the warrior from the Hindu epic Mahabharata) and have certain distinctions from the Russian combat hardware: they feature an altered turret, a different engine and all the instruments have signs in English.
As the Indian senior sergeant pointed out, the Russian personnel are not experiencing any big problems with the military hardware they received for the drills because the tanks transferred by India were designed in Russia.
Troops from Russia, India repel ‘terrorist’ attack during forced march in Indra drills
Russian and Indian motorized infantry units repelled an attack by notional terrorists during a 10-km forced march at the Indra-2019 joint multiservice force drills in India, the press office of Russia’s Pacific Fleet reported on Thursday.
"Today the Russian and Indian troops performed a 10-km forced march during the Indra-2019 multiservice force drills at the Babina training range (the state of Uttar Pradesh, India). The reinforced motor rifle battalions from both countries went on alert and embarked on a 10-km march with their organic gear that included individual small arms, radiation, chemical and biological protection means," the press office said in a statement.
During the forced march, the troops practiced negotiating a contaminated section of the training range and repelling an attack by a notional enemy’s terrorist group, the statement says.
The Indra-2019 drills are running 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.