The Russian-Indian multi-service force drills Indra-2019 kicked off in India, the press office of Russia’s Pacific Fleet reported on Wednesday.
“Today, an official ceremony was held at the Babina training range in the state of Uttar Pradesh (India) to open the Russian-Indian multi-service force exercise Indra-2019. The servicemen of the two countries also lined up at the port of Marmagao and at the Pune Air Force station to mark the beginning of the drills,” the press office said in a statement, TASS news agency reported.
Military orchestras performed the anthems of both countries and the national flags of Russia and India as well as the flag of the drills were hoisted solemnly during the official ceremony. The crews of helicopters from the Indian Air Force’s aerobatic group and parachutists demonstrated their skills. The ceremony ended with a parade by Russian and Indian troops marching across the field camp’s ground, followed by combat hardware involved in the drills.
The Indra-2019 drills will run at training ranges of three Indian states. Russia is represented in the military exercise by over 700 servicemen, including units of the all-arms army of the Eastern Military District, pilots and technicians of the District’s Air Force and Air Defense Army, and also the crews of the Baltic Fleet warships.
The Russian troops will use the tanks and armored personnel carriers and also the aircraft provided by the receiving side for the period of the drills. The drills will run through December 21.
In another development, Commander of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi recently that his country’s naval forces are due to hold joint wargames with their counterparts from China and Russia on December 27, Fars News Agency (FNA) reported.
“The joint drills of Iran, China and Russia codenamed Marine Security Belt will be staged on December 27,” Rear Admiral Khanzadi said in a meeting with Chinese Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff Department Lieutenant General Shao Yuanming in Tehran earlier this month.
He also underlined preparedness to start exchange of information between the two countries, including data and information related to the pirates and technical issues, and called for increased joint naval drills to bolster defense preparedness of both states.
Rear Admiral Khanzadi also emphasized the importance of the joint production of destroyers and submarines by Iran and China, saying that the two states are necessitated to run technical cooperation in a bid to enhance the level of their know-how and experience.
Meanwhile, in a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi on Tuesday, Rear Admiral Khanzadi invited the neighboring state to join the tripartite war-game of his country with Russia and China.
“We are waiting for Pakistan to join the Maritime Security Belt War-Game,” Rear Admiral Khanzadi said, during the meeting with Admiral Abbasi Tuesday in Pakistan, referring to the joint naval drill between Iran, China and Russia in the Indian Ocean, scheduled for December 27, 2019.