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American tanks to roll on Indian soil during wargame

Indo-US joint exercise 'Yudh Abhyas 09', in Jhansi. A file photo

NEW DELHI (PTI): For the first time, American tanks will roll on Indian soil in wargames codenamed 'Exercise Yudh Abhyas', which will mark the beginning of the series of military engagements scheduled between the two countries for this year.

For the first time in Indo-US wargames, Americans will deploy their tanks in the company-level Exercise Yudh Abhyas scheduled to be held in the Mahajan field firing ranges in Rajasthan desert in March, Army sources told PTI.

Apart from fielding three tanks, the US will also deploy around 200 men accompanied by armoured personnel carriers for the wargames, they said.

In the last edition of the exercise, the American Army had brought its Stryker infantry combat vehicles which were being inducted into war operations in Afghanistan.

However, it is not yet clear which tanks would be deployed by the American side for the exercise.

India will field its Russian-origin BMPs along with tanks for the wargame.

After the 'Yudh Abhyas in March', Indian infantry troops from the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles regiment will fly to California to engage their American counterparts in exercise 'Shatrujeet'.

130 troops from the 19 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles battalion will fly to California in April and engage in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism drills there for the exercise, sources said.

The Special Forces of the two countries will also test their skills in a mountain exercise codenamed 'Vajra Prahar'.

60 troops from American Special Forces and an equal number of them from the Indian Army's 3 Para (Special Forces) will take part in a wargame in Chaubatia in Uttarakhand in August this year in mountain terrain.

Indian troops from 1 Para (SF) had visited Seattle last year for the 'Vajra Prahar' exercise last year.

The Navies of the two countries are also scheduled to exercise with each other in 2012.


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