Indra joint military exercises to include Indian Air Force for the first time


NEW DELHI. India and Russia will hold Indra joint military exercises that will involve troops of three armed services from both countries, the Indian Defense Ministry reported on Wednesday.

Earlier, the Indian Army and the Indian Navy has been having the military exercise ‘Indra’ with Russia separately without the participation of the Indian Air Force. The Indian Air Force had participated in an exercise ‘AviaIndra’ with Russian air force in 2014.But this year, it is likely to be a tri-service exercise in Russia, sources said.

“The Indra bilateral drills will, for the first time be held with the participation of servicemen and military hardware of the Army, the Air Force and the Navy. This is the first instance when all the three armed services of the Armed Forces will take part in the joint drills,” a spokesman for the Indian Defense Ministry told.

The Indian Defense Ministry also noted that “India’s Finance and Defense Minister Arun Jaitley will visit Russia on April 25-26 as part of the expected expansion of military contacts between the two countries.” He will hold a number of negotiations and take part in the 6th Moscow conference on security with an aim to further deepen bilateral defence and security cooperation.

Indra Russian-Indian military exercises have been held since 2003. They aim to practice interaction among servicemen of both countries. The drills include joint maneuvers by warships and anti-terror exercises of ground forces.

Russia has been a long-standing defence partner of India.The eighth edition of India-Russia ‘Indra’ exercise between the armies of the two strategic partners had taken place in mountainous Vladivostok in Russia.

The main focus of the joint exercise was counter- terrorism.