Can Indra 2017, involving all 3 services of India -Russia armed forces, curb regional tensions between India-China?
New Delhi, October 17: India and Russia, for the first time, to hold large-scale military exercises involving their armies, navies, and air forces.
Since 2003, the two countries have held annual naval exercises. But this is the first time that both are combining all military services.
This comes after the regional tensions between India and China that recently ended its month-long military standoff at the Doklam Plateau across the border at Sikkim.
China is engaged in expanding its naval presence in the Indian Ocean, builds infrastructure in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. India gets annoyed with all these.
In a statement, the ministry said that the October 19 – 29 joint war games will kick off in the eastern military district of Russia.
According to the statement, “The year 2017 marks a major milestone as this exercise has been upgraded to involve all the three services of the armed forces (Army, Navy & Air Force).”
In a multinational scenario in a joint tri-service environment, the games would provide an opportunity to the armed forces of both countries to train in counter-terrorism operations.
Indra 2017 will be held at the 249th Combined Army Range Sergeevisky and in the sea of Japan near Vladivostok. India is to send 350 personnel from its Army, 80 from the Air Force and military hardware including two IL 76 aircraft, one Frigate, and Corvette each from the Navy. Russia would comprise of Marines and Ships of Pacific Fleet, aircraft from Eastern Military District and about 1,000 troops of the 5th Army.
Under the Indra framework in 2016, held from 14 December to 21 December at Indian port of Visakhapatnam and the Bay of Bengal, both countries had conducted a joint counter-terrorism exercise. The exercise, under a United Nations mandate, comprised around 500 military personnel from both sides focusing on counter-terrorism operations.
Earlier this year, in June, Indian and Russian defense ministers had signed a military cooperation road-map during the 17th meeting of Russian-Indian inter-governmental commission for military-technical cooperation. It is considered as the basic document in planning bilateral military contacts between the two nations.