Russian and Indian armies train for INDRA-2012 exercise

7 February 2012 (Last Updated February 7th, 2012 04:30)

The Russian and Indian Armies have commenced preparation for the joint counter-terrorism combat exercise, INDRA 2012, scheduled to be held this summer at the Cheetah training range in East Russia.

The Russian and Indian Armies have commenced preparation for the joint counter-terrorism combat exercise, INDRA 2012, scheduled to be held this summer at the Cheetah training range in East Russia.

RIA Novosti quoted Russian Eastern Military District spokesman, lieutenant colonel Alexander Gordeyev, as saying: "An Indian military delegation arrived on Monday in Ulan Ude in Russia's Far East to discuss the preparation for INDRA-2012 military drills to be held this summer."

The Russian and Indian military officials will inspect the terrain at the training range where the drills are scheduled to be conducted, Gordeyev added.

The battalion-level exercises are aimed at enhancing defence cooperation and interoperability as well as to strengthen military-to-military relations between the two armies.

During the biennial exercise, the infantry troops from both armies will practise counter-insurgency (COIN), mock anti-terrorist and drug smuggling operations in the mountains at altitudes up to 3,000m above sea level.

Around five INDRA joint exercises have been conducted since 2003, comprising naval exercises as well as biannual peacekeeping drills.

The last exercise was conducted between the two army units from 15 - 24 October 2010 in Chaubattia in Uttarakhand, India, involving 257 Russian personnel and an Indian infantry battalion.

The two nations have also planned to make the exercise an annual event involving all three branches of armed forces, which will be conducted alternatively in India and Russia.

However, Russia cancelled both INDRA-series ground and naval exercises in 2011 citing the non-availability of its warships due to their expected deployment in aid of Japan after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.