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22 Nov, 2023 06:47

India and Russia hold joint naval drills

The joint exercise in the Bay of Bengal is aimed at countering global threats and ensuring safe shipping in the Asia-Pacific region, Moscow said 
India and Russia hold joint naval drills

The Russian and Indian navies are holding joint drills in the Bay of Bengal, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Tuesday. 

The exercise is aimed at “comprehensively developing and bolstering naval cooperation” between the two countries, as well as jointly countering global threats and ensuring safe shipping in the Asia-Pacific region, the statement noted.  

During the drills, naval sailors from both countries are conducting joint maneuvering in various naval formations and holding air defense and communications exercises,” the ministry added. During the course of the exercise, which will wrap up on Wednesday, the navies will work out the replenishment of supplies on the move as well as the joint-use of deck-based helicopters.

Two ships from Russia’s Pacific Fleet, the Admiral Tributs, a large anti-submarine guided-missile destroyer, and the Pechenga, a medium sea tanker, are participating in the drills along with two Indian naval ships: the INS Ranvijay, a Rajput-class destroyer, and the INS Kiltan, an anti-submarine warfare corvette. Warplanes and helicopters are also taking part in the exercise.

The Russian warships had arrived at the Indian port of Visakhapatnam on Saturday, the defense ministry said. 

The joint drills are being conducted a week after Moscow and New Delhi held high-level talks on bilateral issues, including trade, economic cooperation, connectivity and defense. 

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko and Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra met on November 13 in New Delhi, where they discussed in detail the engagement in key areas of cooperation and confirmed their commitment to “strengthening coordination in the international arena, including at the UN, as well as at the sites of the Group of Twenty, BRICS and SCO,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.  

Meanwhile, India is also holding the 14th edition of its Vajra Prahar drills involving the Indian Army and US Army Special Forces, the country's defense ministry announced on Tuesday. The drills are held at the Joint Training Node in Umroi, in the northeastern state of Meghalaya. Over the course of three weeks, both sides will jointly plan and rehearse a series of special operations, counterterrorist operations, and airborne operations in mountainous terrain.