Russian-Indian Naval exercises complete phase one in Arabian Sea

The first stage of Russian-Indian naval exercises was due to finish late on Friday in the waters of the Arabian Sea.

"Both countries intend to enable in the near future regular missions of Russian warships in the Indian Ocean, which will facilitate development of military cooperation between the two strategic partners and increase political stability in the South Asian region," Rear Adm. Vladimir Pepelyayev, representative of the Russian Navy Staff, said in a statement.

Pepelyayev on Friday met with the Indian Navy commander, Adm. Madhvendra Singh, in New Delhi to deliver him greetings and thanks from his Russian counterpart Adm. Vladimir Kuroyedov for hospitality to Russian warship crews and rigorous organisation of the exercise.

The exercise has been code-named Indra, which is a combination of the two countries' names and can also evoke the supreme Vedic deity, the rainmaker Indra.

At the present time, warships of the two navies are rehearsing missions in Arabian Sea waters, which include joint manoeuvring practice and air defence support, artillery fire on maritime and aerial targets, anti-submarine warfare and rescue of crews in distress. Shipborne helicopters will be committed to submarine detection and sea rescue tasks.

The training program is being performed by a force of Russian warships under the flag of Deputy Black Sea Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Yevgeny Orlov. The force consists of the Black Sea Fleet flagship, missile cruiser Moskva and three Pacific Fleet warships - the large anti-submarine warfare ships Admiral Panteleyev and Marshal Shaposhnikov and the tanker Vladimir Kolechitsky.

At the Indian end of things, the first phase of the exercise (May 22-23) has involved ships under Western Naval Command. On Day One, command and control was exercised by the Moskva commander, then by India's Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command. The admirals visited India's Aircraft Carrier Viraat and observed takeoffs of Sea Harrier jets.

At the second stage of the exercises, due on June 1-2 in the waters of the Bay of Bengal, warships under India's Eastern Naval Command will take part to perform similar tasks.

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