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India, US begin first tri-services exercise

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NEW DELHI (PTI):  In reflection of growing congruence in bilateral defence ties, armed forces of India and the US on Wednesday began their first tri-services exercise on the Eastern seaboard.

The nine-day humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) exercise code-named 'Tiger Triumph' is aimed at developing inter-operability between the militaries of the two countries in HADR operations, officials said.

Key assets of Indian Navy, Army and the Indian Air Force have been deployed for the exercise.

Indian Naval ships Jalashwa, Airavat and Sandhayak will be part of the exercise, said officials, adding the IAF has deployed MI-17 helicopters among others.

The US is represented by US Navy ship Germantown with troops from US Third Marine Division.

Indo-US defence ties are on an upswing and both New Delhi and Washington have said they are committed to expanding these further.

Both sides have also been pushing for joint venture and collaboration between private sectors of the two countries in defence manufacturing.

In June 2016, the US had designated India a "Major Defence Partner," intending to elevate defence trade and technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.

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