India, Russia to upgrade military exercises
India and Russia have agreed to upgrade (उन्नयन) their annual Indra bilateral military exercise to a multilateral level involving the three services. This will be a first for India in bilateral(द्विपक्षीय) military exercises with any other country. “There will be no separate Army, Navy Air Force Indra exercises with Russia. It has been agreed to have them in a tri-service format,” a senior defence ministry source said. Pointing to India’s efforts to promote integration(एकीकरण) among the three services, the source said, “This will be an opportunity for India to synergies joint ness between its services and see how other countries function jointly.”
This year’s edition of Indra exercises are scheduled to be held around October or November in Russia. The initial planning conference to finalise the details has already been held. Two more meetings will be held to finalise all the details, the source stated.
The Integrated Defence Staff of the Defence Ministry will lead the exercises which are planned to take place in Russia this year. Officials also pointed to the commonalities(समानताओं) between the Indian and Russian armed forces with most of the Indian arsenal being imported (आयातित) from Moscow.
“For instance advantage with Russia is aircraft can be shared. They need not be taken from here,” the source added.
Jaitley to visit Russia
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley is scheduled to visit Russia from April 25 on a bilateral visit where he will also address the Moscow Conference on International Security on April 26.
Mr. Jaitley will have a bilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu and other bilaterals are also being planned.
In the past two editions, India was represented by the Minister of State for Defence.