INDRA (Naval Exercise)

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INDRA is a joint, bi-annual military exercise conducted by India and Russia starting in 2003. The exercise is tasked with boosting cooperation and interoperability between the Russian and Indian navies. The word INDRA is a portmanteau of the participants' respective countries.[1]

The exercise involves live firing drills, as well as air defence and anti submarine operations. Additionally, counterpiracy, terrorism and drug smuggling operations are carried out.[2]


The end of the Cold War which brought greatly reduced defense budgets saw a collapse in ship building and naval activity in Russia throughout the 1990s. During this time, the Russian navy had no presence in the Indian Ocean. This changed in 2001, when a contingent of naval ships, including anti-submarine warfare vessels and a tanker docked at Mumbai.[3]

In April 2003, nine warships of the Russian navy departed from their bases at Sevastopol in the Black Sea and Vladivostok for the Indian Ocean. These units engaged in a number of exercises with the Indian navy. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov proposed joint naval exercises to be held later that year.

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