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India, Russia Deploy Warships for 'No Contact' Drills Near Strategic Malacca Strait in Indian Ocean

© Sputnik / Ildus Gilyazutdinov / Go to the mediabankRussian-Indian naval exercise Indra-2014
Russian-Indian naval exercise Indra-2014 - Sputnik International
India and Russia have lined up a series of bilateral engagements over the next 10 days, including the visit of Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh to Moscow later this week. The talks will also touch on the issue of the early delivery of the S-400, quick reaction missile system; officials in New Delhi told Sputnik.

India has deployed destroyers, frigates and corvettes to carry out a naval exercise near the strategically-located Strait of Malacca later this week. A government official in New Delhi told Sputnik that the INDRA NAVY–2020 exercise will take place on 4-5 September, during which Russian Navy ships will sail from Hambantota in Sri Lanka to the Malacca Straits in the Bay of Bengal.

“Indian Navy will deploy ships Ranvijay (Destroyer), Sahyadri (Frigate), Kiltan (Corvette) and Shakti (Tanker) with integrated helicopters,” Indian government official told Sputnik while adding that the exercise is being carried out as “non-contact, at sea only” passage exercise during the pandemic.

India-Russia (INDRA) Exercises between the Army, Navy and Air Force of the two countries have been held since 2005.

Later this week, Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh will also visit Russia to discuss military co-operation between the two “special and privileged strategic partners”.

“The Indian Air Force and Army are pressing for early delivery of missile systems, which include the S-400 air defence system. The issue will come up once again during the visit,” the official told Sputnik.

Later on September 10, India’s Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar will meet his Russian counterpart on the sidelines of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation’s foreign ministers’ meeting in Moscow.

Last week, Maria Vorobyova, the official representative of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) of Russia told media on the sidelines of the Army-2020 International Military and Technical Forum that the delivery of the first regiment of S-400 is expected by the end of 2021.

“Further acceleration of the delivery of the first batch from the system is technically impossible, since there are objective, technology-related stages of production, acceptance and transfer of equipment,” Vorobyova emphasised.

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