Indian Navy and Russian Navy to Again Hold INDRA Naval Exercise

The Indian Navy and the Russian Navy will hold their sixth INDRA joint naval exercise from Dec. 14 to 21 at the Bay of Bengal off the southeastern city of Visakhapatnam, headquarters of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Naval Command, its most powerful naval command.

The main goal of the ongoing INDRA exercises is to boost cooperation and interoperability between the Russian Navy and the Indian Navy.

INDRA 2016 will consist of two phases: the Harbor Phase will be held from Dec. 14 to 18 off Visakhapatnam while the Sea Phase will take place in the Bay of Bengal from Dec. 19 to 21.

The Harbor Phase will include table-top exercises; conferences; official visit exchanges; sports and cultural events. The Sea Phase will include various fleet operations.

The exercise will involve live firing drills; air defense and anti submarine operations. Counterpiracy, anti-terrorism and counter drug smuggling operations will also be carried out.

India and Russia have conducted five INDRA exercises, in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014 and 2015.

Last Dec. 4, India celebrated its 45th Indian Navy Day with an impressive show of power by the Eastern Naval Command at the Rama Krishna Mission Beach, one of the most popular beach parks in Visakhapatnam.

At least 24 Indian Navy warships and 19 naval aircraft participated in the Navy Day demonstration.

Navy Day commemorates a bold night attack by three Indian Navy missile boats and two corvettes on the Pakistan Navy at the port of Karachi on Dec. 4, 1971 during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.

This daredevil assault codenamed Operation Trident caused the sinking of three Pakistan Navy warships and the destruction of the harbor’s fuel stores. There were no Indian losses.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi saluted the bravery of the naval forces on the eve of Navy Day. In a tweet, Modi said India cherishes the role played by the Navy.

“Navy Day greetings to all navy personnel & their families. We cherish the vital role of the navy & salute the bravery of our navy personnel.”

Nineteen ENC naval aircraft, including the newly inducted Boeing P-81 Poseidon anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare maritime reconnaissance aircraft, took part in an astounding flypast showcasing Indian naval airpower.