India Intelligence Report
 

   Early 2007 India, Russia Naval War Games

 

 

  • India, Russia to conduct naval war games early 2007 in Russia

  • To improve inter-operability and practice anti-submarine and anti-aircraft warfare

  • IL-38 reconnaissance aircraft being consider for maritime recon work

The Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Arun Prakash said that India and Russia will hold naval war games next year called "INDRA-2007" and will be held off Russia's Pacific coast early 2007. Since 2003, the two countries have held 2 such exercises but will be the 1st one to be held in Russia. Prakash said that “The basic idea is to create inter-operability and practice anti-submarine and anti-aircraft warfare” as it is “a progressive process of learning from each other”.

Prakash also flew for 30 minutes in the latest version of the MiG-29 multi-role fighter and said “It's a very good, very capable aircraft” adding that Russia’s naval version being built for India be tested in “two-three months.” India has bought the aircraft carrier called Gorshkov and ordered a retrofit to suit Indian requirements and will be called INS Vikramaditya and will hold 16 deck-based MiG-29K.

During his trip, Prakash will also review the progress in upgrading India's three IL-38 naval reconnaissance aircraft. India has already taken two upgraded IL-38 to replace two Il-38s lost in an accident in 2002. The upgraded IL-38, fitted with Russia's latest Sea Dragon suit, can detect and target enemy submarines 320 km and aircraft in the 90 km away. India also plans install the Sea Dragon on its eight Tu-142ME long-range naval spy aircraft enabling it to watch the entire Indian Ocean as far as Antarctica. India had initially considered leasing PC-3 Orion aircraft from the US but has since dropped the idea because of cost and requirements issue.

The US had supplied Pakistan with PC-3 Orion aircraft and harpoon missiles. Russia's Irkut, with its IL-38, is contending for an Indian Navy tender to purchase eight more maritime reconnaissance aircraft along with Airbus, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin. India said that it will take 12 to 18 months to evaluate the proposals.