A group of Russian ships has joined the Indian Fleet in the Arabian Sea for a joint exercise. According to a Russian military source, the ships are anchored on the inner roads of the harbour of Mumbai, Maharashtra.
The surface action force under the flag of Vice-Admiral Yevgeny Orlov, the Deputy Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, consists of the Black Sea Fleet flagship, the guided-missile cruiser Moskva, and three vessels of the Pacific Fleet, namely two capital anti-submarine ships, the Admiral Panteleyev and the Marshal Shaposhnikov, and the tanker Vladimir Kolechitsky.
Russia and India have had no joint naval exercises for 15 years, reported Rear-Admiral Vladimir Pepelyayev of the General Staff of the Russian Navy. "The upcoming exercise can be regarded as a big step in the development of bilateral military cooperation, which will help enhance political stability in the region," he said.
On Wednesday, Russian commanders will meet with the top brass of the Indian Western Fleet, whose ships will take part in the first stage of the joint exercise on May 22-23.
The exercise focuses on joint manoeuvring of ships, air defence tasks, artillery fire at sea and air targets, fights with conventional enemy's submarines, and aid to ships in distress. Ship-borne helicopters will be brought in to help detect submarines and rescue crews.
The second stage of the exercise is taking place in the Bay of Bengal on June 1-2 and involves ships of the Indian Eastern Fleet.