MOSCOW, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Russia and India will hold a joint naval exercise in the Indian Ocean in January next year, a spokesman for Russia's Pacific Fleet said Thursday.
The two navies will practice maintaining maritime order and cracking down on piracy, terrorism, and drug smuggling, according to the spokesman.
The INDRA-2009 is a biennial joint exercise held between the two navies since 2003.
"A task force from the Pacific Fleet, led by the Varyag missile cruiser, will leave Vladivostok in December and set sail for the Indian Ocean to participate in the joint drill with the Indian navy," Capt. First Rank Roman Martov was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency as saying.
A task force from Russia's Northern Fleet, led by the Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered missile cruiser, will also take part in the drill after finishing its joint exercise with the Venezuelan Navy in late November, he added.
Martov cited Vice Admiral Konstantin Sidenko, commander of the Pacific Fleet, as saying that Russian warships from the fleet will make several long-range training sorties in the South Pacific and Indian oceans in 2009, and participate in a number of exercises involving live-firing drills.