The 9th edition of exercise Indra Navy, an annual bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Russian Navy, will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal from December 14 to 21, 2016. The primary aim of exercise Indra Navy 16 is to increase interoperability amongst the two navies and develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations. The scope of the exercise includes wide-ranging professional interactions in harbour phase and a diverse canvas of operational activities across a spectrum of maritime operations at sea. Indra Navy is a bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian and Russian navies and epitomises the strategic relationship between the two countries. Initiated in 2003, the exercise has matured over the years with increase in scope, complexity of operations and level of participation.
During exercise Indra Navy 16, the Indian Navy will be represented by INS, Ranvir, a guided missile destroyer, INS Satpura an indigenous frigate and INS Kamorta an indigenous anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette. In addition, an Indian Navy submarine, P-8I long range maritime patrol aircraft, Dornier short range maritime patrol aircraft, Hawk advanced jet trainer and other integral rotarywing helicopters are scheduled to participate in the bilateral exercise.
The Russian Federation Navy (RuFN) will be represented by Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhalov, Deputi Chief of Flotilla, Pacific Fleet and ships from the Pacific Fleet, based at Vladivostok. RuFN ships Admiral Tributus (cruiser) and Boris Butoma (fleet tanker) are expected to arrive at Visakhapatnam on December 14, 2016, to participate in exercise Indra Navy 16.
The exercise will be progressed in two phases, viz. the Harbour Phase (December 14 to 18) at Visakhapatnam and the Sea Phase (December 19 to 21) off Visakhapatnam. The Harbour Phase would encompass table-top exercises, planning conferences, and professional interactions prior progressing to sea. The thrust of exercises at sea this year would be on ASW, air defence drills, surface firings, visit board search and seizure (VBSS) and tactical procedures.Exercise Indra Navy 16 will help to further strengthen mutual confidence and interoperability, and also enable sharing of best practices between both navies. The exercise will be another milestone in strengthening maritime security cooperation between the two navies and will also serve to reinforce the long-standing bond of friendship between the two countries.