Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
13-October-2005 18:7 IST
INDRA-2005 Indian and Russian Navies engage in bilateral exercises
INDRA-2005, a biennial bilateral exercise between the armed forces of Russia and India, is scheduled to be conducted from the 10 - 20 Oct 05. The naval part of the exercise will be conducted on the Eastern Seaboard, off the coast of Visakhapatnam, from 14 to 20 Oct 05.

The first Indo-Russian bilateral Naval exercise INDRA 2003 was conducted both on the Western and Eastern seaboards from 20-23 May 03 and from 29 May-04 Jun 03 respectively. The exercise, primarily aimed at enhancing mutually beneficial cooperative engagement between the navies of the two countries, was christened INDRA. This was derived from the country names viz. India and Russia.

INDRA-2005 has a considerably wider scope than the last exercise. Five Russian Naval Ships including one Missile Cruiser, two Destroyers, one Tanker and one Ocean going tug will arrive Visakhapatnam on 14 Oct 05. The Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet, Vice Admiral Sergey Viktorovich Avramenko, would be embarked upon the Missile Cruiser 'Varyag". The officers and sailors of the participating units along with the staff of Eastern Naval Command will engage in various activities in harbour including the Pre-Sailing Conference at Visakhapatnam on 15-16 Oct 05. The exercises at sea will include various surface firing, air defence and anti-submarine warfare exercises. These would be conducted from 17-19 Oct 05. Debrief for the exercises has been planned on 20 Oct 05 at Visakhapatnam.

Another important feature of this exercise is that the exercise will be witnessed at sea by the Russian Defence Minister, Mr Sergei Ivanov, and Raksha Mantri, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, on 18Oct 05. The Russian delegation will include dmiral Vladimir V Masorin, Commander-in-Chief Russian Navy and a number of other high-ranking officers of the Russian Navy. A press conference at sea, with members of the Russian and Indian media has also been planned onboard INS Mumbai on18 Oct 05.

Such exercises not only provide a new dimension to the relationship between the armed forces of the two countries towards building mutual trust and better understanding of each other, but also forge a stronger foundation on which the friendship between the two nations would continue to flourish.