Vladivostok, Oct 27, Indra 2017, India's first tri-service exercise with Russia, entered its final phase, with Friday seeing a Task Force of armoured, mechanised infantry and infantry elements, supported by fighter aircraft and armed helicopters, foiling a simulated attack on a humanitarian aid convoy, an official statement said.

A terrorist attack on the convoy was simulated as per the exercise setting, and the forces successfully extricated it, the statement said, adding that the humanitarian assistance was aimed for trapped civilians in a counter-insurgency environment under UN mandate, and the attack was to test the response mechanism of the Combined Task Force.

The terrorists were successfully isolated and the humanitarian aid convoy was escorted to safety.

Simultaneously, the fighter aircrafts and armed helicopters hit targets while artillery elements comprising of 122mm GRAD and howitzers further softened them, before tanks closed in on the target along with mechanised infantry elements and cordoned off the entire area, setting the stage for the infantry to launch the final assault.

Later, speaking to the media, Indian Task Force commander, Maj Gen N.D. Prasad, expressed his happiness at the professional synergy displayed during the entire exercise not only between the air force, navy and the army elements of the Indian Defence Forces, but also between the Indian and Russian Defence Forces, despite the language constraint.

Rear Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta, the Naval Component Leader and Air Commodore R.G.K. Kapoor, the Air Force Component Leader reiterated that the synergy on display between the three services of both sides has reinforced the importance of tri-service cooperation and is the harbinger of things to come in future operations.

The last drill of Exercise Indra 2017 will be carried out on Saturday, when an amphibious landing of troops will take place at Cape of Klerk training area by Indian and Russian naval elements with air support.

The active sea phase of naval component commenced on October 26 in the Sea of Japan, while the air force components undertook various practice missions by combined Indo-Russian crew in fighter and transport aircraft and helicopters during the training phase.

"These aircraft formed an integral part in the Joint Ops that was undertaken today and will also provide Air Support for tomorrow's amphibious landing mission," the statement said.

The exercise, which started on October 20, will culminate on October 29 in a grand closing ceremony which will be held here.

--IANS