It will have counter-terrorism as dominant theme
State-of-the-art battle equipment to be used
NEW DELHI: India will hold joint military exercises with Russia from Tuesday.
This will be the first time that Indian troops, accompanied by an Indian Air Force contingent, will hold exercises in Russia. Codenamed “Indra-07”, the exercises are a follow-up of the first-ever airborne exercise “Indra-05” held here.
As was the case two years ago, the 10-day exercise in Pskov region will have counter-terrorism as the dominant theme. Special airborne forces of both countries will jointly plan and conduct air and ground manoeuvres to neutralise a concentration of international terrorists in a third country, under a “United Nations mandate.”
The exercises will be conducted by the elite Russian 76 airborne division and involve over 400 special forces troops from both countries. They will use state-of-the-art battle equipment, a large number of fixed and rotary wing aircraft as well as unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance that will precede the assault.
The exercises will be conducted in three phases, culminating in a realistic simulated operational exercise involving surveillance, acquiring and assessing intelligence; joint planning; multi-directional mass airborne insertion and tactical para-drop; regrouping into joint teams. These will followed by a series of counter-terrorist operations. The manoeuvres will involve cross-country movement over a distance of 100 km after the para-drop, assault crossing of a river obstacle; destruction of terrorist hideouts and extrication from the target area into neutral territory.
The Russian airborne forces are one of the oldest and most combat hardened. They have been the frontrunners in evolving and practicing the theory of “operational art” in this area.
The Indian airborne forces are expected to showcase their skills as well as learn from the operational concepts and tactical methodologies of their Russian counterparts
Over 160 Indian Air Borne troops have arrived in the Pskov Region, in northwestern Russia, to take part in INDRA-2007 joint antiterrorism exercise, a spokesman for the Russian Air Borne Troops said Tuesday.
INDRA-2007 is a biennial Russian-Indian exercise aimed at practicing cooperative engagement in the fight against terrorism. It is the third such exercise since 2003 with the previous exercise being held in the western deserts of India in 2005.
"The paratroopers are currently clearing customs and unloading the cargo plane," Colonel Alexander Cherednik said.
The exercise, which will focus on the detection and elimination of armed terrorist groups, will last through September 11-20.
Military cooperation between the two nations goes back nearly 50 years, with India accounting for about 40% of Russian arms exports. Eighty percent of India's Armed Forces, the second- largest in the region, are equipped with Russian weaponry
Moscow, Sep 13 (RIA Novosti) Officers and soldiers of a 162-strong Indian commando unit, due to take part in the INDRA-2007 joint counter-terrorist exercise, have brought their own cooks, but no weapons, to the ancient city of Pskov in north-west Russia.
The Indians, who cannot eat Russian pork-and-beef K-rations, will have their own food cooked according to traditional recipes and will eat separately from the Russian troopers.
Only 62 Indian soldiers will take part in the simulated combat operations.
On Sep 12, the 104th Regiment of the Russian Airborne Force's 76th Pskov Air Assault Division hosted an official ceremony to open the initial phase of the INDRA-2007 exercise. Lt. Gen. Nikolai Ignatov, Deputy Commander of the Russian Airborne Force, and Indian Brig. Gen. Monoharan addressed the ceremony.
The commander of the Indian unit said that both sides must exchange counter-terrorist experience, that the INDRA-2005 exercise in India had great practical significance and that INDRA-2007 is bound to further boost the troopers' skills and promote joint cooperation.
It will take Indian soldiers a few days to adapt to the local climate and to learn how to use Russian weapons. On Sep 16, the active phase will commence, with two Russian and Indian Ilyushin Il-76 transports dropping 60 commandos each over a training centre near Pskov.
The four combined Russian-Indian units will then have to march 100 km in three days through rugged terrain, including forests, swamps and ravines, before locating and destroying 'terrorist' bases.
The military personnel of both countries will coordinate joint operations during the exercise. Indian Army Chief J.J. Singh is expected to visit the Pskov Division on Sep 16.