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Russia and India to hold first combined forces drills in fall

Russia and India have held the Indra exercise since 2003

MOSCOW, June 23. /TASS/. Russia and India will hold the first combined force military exercise Indra-2017 in Russia’s eastern military district next autumn, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at a meeting of the Russian-Indian inter-governmental commission for military-technical cooperation on Friday.

"Military cooperation is a major component and platform of Russian-Indian strategic interaction. Joint military exercises are the most important aspect of this," he said.

Shoigu believes that the joint exercises enhance the status and reputation of the two countries’ armed forces and show the defense ministries’ readiness for effective counteraction against modern challenges and threats.

"Last year we held successful joint anti-terrorist and naval exercises. In the autumn of this year we plan to hold a joint combined force exercise Indra-2017," Shoigu said.

Russia and India have held the Indra exercise since 2003. The main task is to practice interaction by naval ships and anti-terrorist operations on the ground. Up to 2013 the exercise had been held from time to time (involving ground and naval forces interchangeably). Since 2014 the exercise has been held annually on the ground and at sea.

In April 2017 it was announced that Russian and Indian air forces would be involved in the Indra exercise for the first time.