India-Russia Current Affairs

Indra: India, Russia for first time conduct tri-services exercise

India and Russia for first time are going to conduct Indra tri-services exercise, involving their armies, navies and the air forces in October 2017 to further ramp up military ties.

It will be for the first time India will participate in a tri-services exercise with a foreign country with such large scale participation by Army, Navy and Air Force.

Key Facts

The 2017 Indra exercise will be held in Russia including in mountainous Vladivostok region. It will primarily focus on achieving coordination between forces of the two countries in a tri- services integrated theatre command scenario.

A total of 350 Indian Army personnel will participate at the mega exercise. The contingents by the Indian Navy and AirForce (IAF) will also be sizeable in numbers. Russian army, navy and air force also for time holding tri-services exercise with other country.

Comment

The exercise will take place in the midst of evolving unpredictable security situation in the region. It will be conducted at a time when India’s ties with China have nosedived over the border dispute issue and also at time when its ties with Pakistan have deteriorated over cross-border terrorism and number of other issues.

Background

India is significantly ramping up its defence capability and has lined up billions of dollars of procurement proposals as part of military modernisation. Russia has been a long-standing defence partner of India and both the countries are now eyeing to further deepen the ties. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia in June 2017, both countries had decided to “upgrade and intensify” defence cooperation through joint manufacture, co-production and co-development of key military hardware and equipment. A vision document, issued then also had mentioned that both the countries also decided to work towards a qualitatively higher level of military-to-military cooperation.

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India-Russia Signs Roadmap for Defence Cooperation

India and Russia have finalized a roadmap to further boost bilateral defence cooperation during the 17th India-Russia intergovernmental commission on military-technical cooperation held at Moscow. The meeting was co-chaired by defence minister Arun Jaitley and his Russian counterpart General Shoygu. The agenda for the discussion ranged from joint development of futuristic weapon systems to a major upgrade of military-to-military ties.

India and Russia had signed a protocol that aims to enhance cooperation between both the countries in the field of political and military dialogue, exercises, exchange of visits, military cooperation and training.

Background

The top-level bilateral meeting comes at the backdrop of Russia’s efforts to maintain its long-standing number one position as an arms supplier to India in face of stiff competition from the US, Israel, France and other countries. Russia is on course of getting defence projects worth $10.5 billion from the acquisition of five S-400 Triumf advanced air defence missile systems, four Grigorivich-class frigates and 200 Kamov-226T light helicopters and the lease of a second nuclear-powered submarine after INS Chakra.

The meeting also comes in the backdrop of India being unhappy with Russia for delaying delivery schedules, increasing up costs mid-way as well as creating hurdles in technology transfer and providing unreliable spares support. India is also not happy regarding the economic and technical viability of going joint development and production of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) called the Sukhoi T-50 or Sukhoi PAK-FA.

The Sukhoi PAK FA is a fifth generation fighter aircraft programme. PAK FA is a stealth, single seat aircraft that is intended to be the successor to the MiG-29 and Su-27 in the Russian Airforce. The aircraft will serve as the basis for the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) being jointly developed by Sukhoi and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force.

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