India-US Army exercise concludes
New Delhi: The joint India-US Army exercise, which included the largest deployment of the latter's Stryker armoured vehicles outside Iraq and Afghanistan, concluded on Thursday at Babina in Uttar Pradesh.
The exercise aimed at sharing peace-keeping experiences with focus on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism in a semi-urban scenario.
"About 1,000 military personnel from the Indian and US armies participated in exercise Yudh Abhyas 2009," said a senior Army official here.
Yudh Abhyas is a regularly-scheduled bilateral exercise hosted by the Indian Army.
The US featured 17 Stryker vehicles and the Javelin anti-tank missile system, deployed against current and future armoured combat vehicles.
"This year's exercise included a multi-echelon, full spectrum combined operation focusing on a UN (United Nations) peacekeeping operation scenario, while executing a manoeuvre live-fire exercise.
"During the exercise, participants engaged in a variety of missions, from joint planning and manoeuvre execution, a variety of artillery ranges, to cordon and search operations as well as search and rescue training," said the official.
The US, on the other hand, has used the joint war games as a platform to pitch for Strykers as it is anxious to grab a major chunk of the lucrative Indian arms market.
The Stryker is an eight-wheeled all-wheel-drive armoured combat vehicle that is known for its lightweight and easy maintenance.
Most cables, hoses, and mechanical systems in the vehicle can be quickly disconnected for maintenance work, while the engine and transmission can be removed and reinstalled in approximately two hours.
Each Stryker armoured vehicle costs around USD 1.5 million (nearly Rs.7 crore).