Moscow & Delhi to hold 3 major war games in 2016

© Sam Panthaky
Russia and India have agreed to hold joint war games involving the two countries' navies, air forces and ground troops this year. The agreement was signed in Vladivostok, with further details scheduled to be discussed next month.

Consultations on the biggest of the three drills, Indra-2016, will be held in May, the head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Eastern Military District’s press service said on Thursday.

“A joint protocol was signed in Vladivostok to hold the first planning conference for the Indra-2016 joint exercises,” Captain Roman Martov said, as cited by RIA Novosti.

The two sides will set the exact dates and organizational details of the training.

The three major military drills the Eastern Military District will take part in this year are the Indra-Neva-2016 naval training of the Indian Navy with the Russian Pacific Fleet, the AviaIndra-2016 training of air force and air defense systems, and the major Indra-2016 combined arms training, Martov said.

Indra is a bi-annual Russian-Indian joint naval exercise, which has been conducted by Moscow and Delhi since 2003. The exercise includes live firing drills, anti-submarine operations, air defense training, counter piracy, anti-terrorist and counter drug smuggling operation drills.

In 2016, Indra will be held for the first time at the Sergeyevsky firing range in Russia’s Far Eastern Primorye territory.

In December 2015, during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Moscow, it was announced that India was planning the biggest arms deal with Russia since 2001.

India’s Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) last week agreed the purchase of five S-400 air defense systems from Russia. The deal that reportedly might reach $US150 billion is expected to include the purchase of five S-400 air defense systems, 200 light Ka-226T helicopters, and a final commercial deal on Sukhoi/HAL Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) that are being jointly developed by India and Russia based on Russia’s PAK-FA 5G fighter jet.