The navies of India and Russia began a two-day Passage Exercise (PASSEX) in the East Indian Ocean Region (IOR) on Friday, coinciding with Navy Day on December 4, the Navy said.
“The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving understanding and imbibing best practices between both the friendly navies, and would involve advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, weapon firings, seamanship exercises and helicopter operations,” the Navy said in a statement.
Two warships from India and three ships from Russia are taking part in the PASSEX.
This year, the Indian Navy has so far participated in 13 bilateral and multilateral exercises.
In the first bilateral exercise since all such engagements were suspended due to COVID-19, India and Russia held Indra 2020 in the North Indian Ocean in September.
The Navy has held a series of passage exercises in the IOR with major Navies since the COVID-19 lockdown. In July, frontline warships of the Indian Navy conducted a passage exercise with US Navy’s USS Nimitz carrier strike group near the Andaman and Nicobar (A&N) islands as it was transiting the Indian Ocean after conducting freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea. A PASSEX was also held with the Japanese Navy.