India and Russia began their joint military exercise, Indra 2013, at the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges in South Western Command today
The opening ceremony saw the unfurling of the national flags of both countries to the strains of ”Jana Gana Mana…” and “Russia Sviashennaia Nasha Derzhava… (Russia is our sacred state, Russia is our beloved land)”.
Indian and Russian soldiers stood side by side, with their tanks and Infantry combat vehicles in the background and gave a ceremonial salute to the two senior most officers of both the Russian and Indian Army reviewing the line-up of combat forces.
Brigadier V M Chandran welcomed the Russian soldiers, and in his inaugural remarks highlighted the historic legacy of shared beliefs, related to democracy, freedom, equality and justice that were precious to both nations, as also the progressive defence cooperation and mutual understanding between both the Armed Forces.
A combat group strength of Russian Army personnel and an equal complement of Indian soldiers from South Western Command are taking part in the two-week long exercises.
The exercises will include integration of their tactical and technical skills in a UN peace enforcement scenario involving mechanized forces.
State-of-the-art equipment for surveillance and target acquisition specialist weapons for close quarter battle, explosive and IED detectors, as well as the latest communications equipment are being used in the exercises.
Both sides will jointly plan and execute a series of well integrated tactical drills for neutralization of visualized threats that may be encountered in UN peace operations, an official press release added.