The seventh edition of India-Russia joint military exercise is set to begin on Saturday, November 7. The two-week long Exercise Indra-2015 will focus on counter-terrorism operations. A team of 250 Russian army officials and soldiers has arrived in the desert town of Bikaner for bilateral exercises, reports the Times of India. The Indian Army spokesman Manish Ojha said this year’s exercise would focus on “Counter Terrorism Operations in Desert Terrain under a United Nations Mandate.”

India Russia To Conduct Join Military Exercises Between Nov 7-20

The exercise to focus on counter-terrorism

To begin with, Indian Army’s Infantry Battalion and an Independent Russian Motorized Brigade would get familiar with the approach to such operations, arms and equipment of each other, and Command and Control Systems. The exercise will also focus on a high degree of tactical drills, techniques, procedures, and physical fitness. Ojha said soldiers from both sides will engage in a variety of missions such as joint tactical drills, search and rescue, cordon and rescue operations, and special arms skills.

The drills will be conducted in two phases: Combat Conditioning & Tactical Training, and second Validation phase. Top Russian and Indian Generals would be there to witness the drills. The two countries have been conducting joint military exercises since 2003. India and Russia have close military partnership for decades. It comes just a couple of weeks after India and China conducted joint exercise called ‘Hand in Hand-2015’ in the Chinese city of Kunming.

India relies on Russia for a large chunk of military equipment

Last month, Indian Navy also held Exercise Malabar-2015 with the US and Japanese navies in the Bay of Bengal. India relies on Russia for a large chunk of its military equipment. The two countries are in talks to jointly develop a military transport aircraft and a fifth-generation fighter aircraft based on Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA. Earlier this month, New Delhi inked a deal worth $10.8 billion to buy an unspecified number of Russian S-400 Triumf anti-ballistic missile systems.