Indian Navy carries out exercise with Russia on Navy Day

The Indian and Russian navies are carrying out a two-day passage exercise (PASSEX) in the Eastern Indian Ocean Region (IOR) on December 4 and 5. A similar exercise was carried out by the US Navy earlier as part of Indian Navy’s outreach programme to work closely with friendly nations.

“The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving understanding and imbibing best practices between both the friendly navies, and would involve advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, weapon firings, seamanship exercises and helicopter operations,” the Indian Navy said.

The exercise involves the participation of Russian Federation Navy guided-missile cruiser Varyag, the large anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleyev and medium ocean tanker Pechenga.

Indian Navy is being represented by indigenously constructed guided-missile frigate Shivalik and anti-submarine corvette Kadmatt along with integral helicopters.

These exercises are conducted regularly by Indian Navy with units of friendly foreign navies, whilst visiting each other’s ports or during a rendezvous at sea.

This particular exercise, which is being conducted in the Eastern Indian Ocean Region, reflects the strong long-term strategic relationship between the two countries and particularly, defence cooperation in the maritime domain, said the Indian Navy.

With China’s growing presence in the IOR, the Indian Navy is looking at enhancing its maritime diplomacy.

Recently the four-nation Malabar Exercise was conducted in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea where navies of US, Japan, Australia and Indian participated. Australia’s participation after 13 years was significant as the the four nations got together for war games in the seas.

“Indian Navy (participated) in 13 bilateral and multilateral exercises this year. The most recent exercise, Malabar, with US, Japanese and Australian Navies, contributed to enhanced cooperation and trust,” Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh had said in a press conference held on December 3.

“As part of the Government of India’s vision of ‘Neighbourhood First’, the Indian Navy undertook Joint EEZ surveillance with Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius, as well as Coordinated Patrols (CORPATs) with Bangladesh, Thailand and Indonesia,” he added.

This PASSEX with Russia would be another step towards strengthening Indo-Russian defence relations, the Indian Navy said.

The two navies have built a robust relationship through regular exercises such as INDRA Navy conducted biennially, with the last edition held in the northern Indian Ocean Region on September 4 and 5 this year.

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