Indian Navy kicks off Exercise Varuna along with France Navy off Goa

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Updated: May 3, 2019 6:35:26 PM

Ahead of phase two of the war games off Djibouti coast near the Horn of Africa end of this month, India has got access to Djibouti naval base for refits, said a senior diplomat. The formalities are expected to be completed soon.

Indian Navy, Indian Navy Exercise Varuna, France Navy, anti submarine warfare, INS Vikramaditya, INS Mumbai, INS Tarkash, INS Shankul, Rafale-M fightersThe main idea behind this drill is to develop the ability between the navies of both countries, to foster mutual cooperation and learn each other’s best practices for carrying out joint operations in the future. (Photo source: Indian Navy website)

The 17th edition of the Indo-French bilateral naval exercise Varuna 19.1 is underway and as part of the Harbour phase crews onboard the ships will have interaction and discussions about the wide spectrum of the exercises and maritime security.

These war games underscore the shared interests and the commitment of each nation’s in promoting maritime security. This year’s Ex Varuna is not only complex but is also focused on carrier operations and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) training and Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) will be in force too which has been inked between India and France.

Also read: INS Ranjit: Indian Navy’s Kashin-class destroyer to be decommissioned after 36 years on May 6 

Ahead of phase two of the war games off Djibouti coast near the Horn of Africa end of this month, India has got access to Djibouti naval base for refits, said a senior diplomat. The formalities are expected to be completed soon.

From the Indian side aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, destroyer INS Mumbai, the Teg-class frigate, INS Tarkash, the Shishumar- class the submarine, INS Shankul, and the Deepak- class fleet tanker, INS Deepak are participating.

Aircraft carrier FNS Charles de Gaulle, two destroyers, FNS Forbin and FNS Provence, the frigate FNS Latouche-Treville, the tanker FNS Marne and a nuclear submarine have come from France.

Besides the ships and submarines, the air component of the exercise will witness dogfights between the Mig-29K fighters and Rafale-M fighters which are going to operate off their respective aircraft carriers.

Christened as ‘Varuna’ in 2001, bilateral exercises between the two were initiated in 1983. The Indo-French bilateral service exercise was initiated in 1983 which is the base of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

The joint war games have fully-grown in scope and complexity and in line with the Joint Strategic Vision Cooperation within the Indian Ocean Region signed by the two leaders last March.

The main idea behind this drill is to develop the ability between the navies of both countries, to foster mutual cooperation and learn each other’s best practices for carrying out joint operations in the future.

Financial Express Online has reported earlier that India already has access to the French base on Reunion Island for refueling and has been in talks with the French for using the base in Djibouti. The French Navy is the only one whose ships have docked at Karwar and Mumbai under the MLSA.

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