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    Russian, Indian navies complete INDRA-2009 exercises

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    Russian and Indian warships have completed the final stage of the INDRA-2009 joint naval exercises, practicing anti-piracy operations off the Somali coast, Russia's Navy commander said on Wednesday.

    MOSCOW, February 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russian and Indian warships have completed the final stage of the INDRA-2009 joint naval exercises, practicing anti-piracy operations off the Somali coast, Russia's Navy commander said on Wednesday.

    INDRA is a biennial Russian-Indian exercise aimed at practicing cooperation in enforcing maritime law and countering piracy, terrorism and drug smuggling. INDRA-2009 was the fourth such exercise since 2003 and involved two stages, held in the Indian Ocean.

    "The second stage of the INDRA-2009 exercise was held off the Somali coast and was primarily dedicated to anti-piracy operations," Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said.

    Russia was represented by the Pacific Fleet's Admiral Vinogradov destroyer and the Northern Fleet's Pyotr Veliky missile cruiser, Admiral Levchenko destroyer and several support ships. India sent the Tabar missile frigate.

    "The Russian and Indian warships that took part in the exercise practiced escorting commercial ships in the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden," he said.

    The admiral added that the warships made extensive use of deck-based aircraft to locate and monitor the movements of small boats that could have presented potential threats to commercial shipping.

    "There were no attempts to seize commercial ships in the area during our exercise," Vysotsky said.

    Russia's Pyotr Veliky missile cruiser and the Indian guided-missile destroyer INS Delhi took part in the first stage of INDRA-2009, which included a PASSEX type exercise practicing combat interoperability and communications drills, and lasted from January 26 until February 1.

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