India and Russia will hold the eleventh iteration of their bilateral military exercise, Indra-2019 in December. More than 40 Russian aircraft will be dispatched to India to take part in the Russian-Indian military exercise, the Eastern Military District’s press service said on Tuesday.
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“In order to participate in joint Russian-Indian multi-service exercise, Indra, the Russian side plans to send over 40 aircraft of various types, including 15 fighter jets, about 20 military-transport aircraft and more than five army aviation helicopters to the Republic of India,” the press service reported.
Russian aircraft will provide aerial support to ground troops and navy forces during the exercise. The Russian naval group will include two warships, a sea tanker, a helicopter and two or three motorboats.
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The Indra-2019 drills will take place at overland and sea ranges as well as at one of the military airfields of the Indian Armed Forces. About 300 servicemen of the Eastern Military District will participate in the drills from the Russian side.
In 2018, the land component of the exercise took place at India’s Babina Military Station, near Jhansi in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It reportedly involved 14 T-90 tanks, 14 BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, and 500 troops on the Russian side, according to the Russian MoD, while India did not reveal the assets involved.
“The aim of the exercise is to practice joint planning and conduct to enhance interoperability of the two armies in the peacekeeping and enforcement environment under the aegis of United Nations,” an Indian Ministry of Defense statement noted at the time.
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The naval part of the exercise took place in the Bay of Bengal last year. The Indian Navy deployed the “INS Ranvir, a guided-missile destroyer, INS Satpura, an indigenous frigate, INS Kadmatt, an indigenous anti-submarine warfare corvette, IN Ships Kuthar and Khanjarboth indigenous missile corvettes and INS Jyoti, a fleet tanker” to the exercise, according to an Indian MoD press release.
The Russian Navy dispatched the Slava-class guided-missile cruiser, Varyag, as well as the Admiral Panteleyev, an Udaloy-class anti-submarine warfare ship, and the sea tanker, Boris Butoma. The primary aim of the naval exercise was to enhance interoperability amongst the two navies.