Indo-Russian Bilateral Naval Exercise – Indra Navy 2015

Issue: 6 / 2015By Rear Admiral Sushil Ramsay (Retd)Photo(s): By Indian Navy

Indra Navy is a bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian and Russian navies and epitomises the strategic relationship between the two countries. Initiated in 2003, the exercise has matured over the years with increasing scope, complexity of operations and level of participation.

The 8th edition of Indra Navy was conducted in the Bay of Bengal from December 7 to 12, 2015. The primary aim of this exercise is to increase interoperability between the two navies and develop common understanding of procedures for maritime security operations. The scope of Indra Navy 2015 includes wide-ranging professional interactions during the Harbour Phase and a diverse canvas of operational activities at sea across a spectrum of maritime operations.

During Indra Navy 2015, the Indian Navy was represented by INS Sahyadri, an indigenous frigate; INS Ranvijay, a guided-missile destroyer; and INS Shakti a fleet support ship. In addition, a submarine, INS Sindhuvir, the P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft, Dornier short-range maritime patrol aircraft, hawk advanced jet trainer and other integral rotary-wing helicopters participated in the bilateral exercise.

The Russian Federation Navy (RFN) was represented by Vice Admiral Ryabukhin Andrey, Deputy Commander of the Pacific Fleet, and ships from the Pacific Fleet based at Vladivostok. RFN ships Varyag (cruiser), Bystry (destroyer), Alatau (rescue ocean going tug) and Boris Butoma (fleet tanker) arrived at Visakhapatnam on December 6, 2015, to participate in Indra Navy 2015.

The exercise was progressed in two phases, viz. the Harbour Phase (December 7 to 9) at Visakhapatnam and the Sea Phase (December 10 to 12) off Visakhapatnam. The Harbour Phase included tabletop exercises and planning conferences ashore, prior progressing to sea. The Sea Phase included various facets of fleet operations.

Indra Navy 2015 will help to further strengthen mutual confidence and interoperability, and also enable sharing of best practices between both navies. The exercise will be another milestone in strengthening maritime security cooperation between the two navies and will also serve to reinforce the long-standing bond of friendship between the two countries.