Besides expanding deployment of warships in the Indian Ocean region, the India Navy is engaged with the Russian Navy in a range of complex maritime operations.
Officials said this is part of a mega military exercise in the Bay of Bengal. Commander Vivek Madhwal, Indian Navy spokesperson, said the exercise epitomises the long-term strategic relationship between the navies of the two countries and it is taking place at the time when tension has escalated between India and China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
Officials, as per the New Indian Express, said a wide spectrum of drills including surface and anti-aircraft drills, helicopter operations, maneuvers and cross-deck flying was carried out for the second consecutive day. This is part of the 11th edition of the biennial Indo-Russian exercise Indra Navy.
Assets deployed by the Russian Navy in the exercise included destroyer Admiral Vinogradov, destroyer Admiral Tributs and fleet tanker Boris Butoma of the Pacific fleet which are normally based at Vladivostok, the report said. And the Indian Navy used its guided missile destroyer Ranvijay and fleet tanker Shakti, as well as integral helicopters.
Indian Navy had carried out a similar military exercise with a US Navy carrier strike group in July. This was led by nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (world’s largest warship) off the coast of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It took place when the US carrier strike group was transiting through the Indian Ocean Region on its way from the South China Sea.
Indian Navy has significantly been expanding its deployment in the Indian Ocean Region. It has deployed a plethora of warships and submarines to send across a message to Beijing, in the backdrop of the continuing border row.