Indian Air Force (IAF) and Russian Federation Air Force (RFAF) on 25 August 2014 started Indo-Russian Air Force Exercise, Avia Indra-2014 at Astrakhan region, near the Caspian Sea in Russia. Avia Indra-2014 is the first Indo-Russia aerial exercise that involves the air forces of the two countries. The exercise will go on till 5 September 2014.
The exercise is being conducted to boost cooperation between the air forces of two countries and involves aircraft like Su030MKI and Mi-17 helicopters. It also involves fighter pilots, helicopter pilots, missile combat crew, as well as engineers from the IAF along with their counterparts of the RFAF.
Russia’s participation in the exercise includes aircraft of the Russian Federation Air Force (Su-30SM fighter aircraft, Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters).
Russia is the major supplier of defence equipment to India and Russian-origin aircraft such as the Su-30MKI and MiG-series planes are the mainstay of India's air power.
Other benefits of the exercise
• The exercise will also provide an opportunity to both the forces to exchange their best practices
• It will cement the foundation for a more professional interaction and growth in the future
Apart from this first exercise between their air forces, India and Russia also have INDRA-series war games between their armies and navies.
Comment: Avia Indra-2014 exercise is seen as a major mile stone in military relations of the two countries and would be beneficial for the sides in future.
Who: Avia Indra-2014
When: on 25 August 2014