NEW DELHI: The Indian military is to conduct one of its largest mock war drills -- involving 20,000 troops -- close to the country's border with Pakistan, an official said on Monday.
The manoeuvres, named Shoorveer or Brave Warrior, which will also involve 200 Russian-made tanks, are due to begin in the deserts of India's state of Rajasthan next month, army spokesman colonel Jagdeep Dahiya told AFP.
"The exercise will be one of the largest manoeuvres conducted so far," he said, adding that latest warplanes would be factored into the drills, which are scheduled to end in May.
In a separate statement the military said tanks, frontline combat vehicles, artillery, helicopters, fighter jets, drones, air-defence weapons and military radars would be part of the exercise.
Another military source said the event would be held less than 200 kilometres (124 miles) from the highly militarised border with Pakistan, with which India has fought three wars since independence from British rule in 1947.
Dahiya dismissed fears the exercise -- to be conducted by an elite military corps raised only for cross-border assault -- would crank up tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad.
"We do inform Pakistan in advance whenever such large-scale exercises are conducted by us," the army colonel added. (AFP)