Indo-French navy exercise Varuna goes to sea for honing interoperability skills

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Updated: May 8, 2019 8:25:12 PM

After a fruitful harbour phase over the last six days, the visiting French Naval (FN) ships sailed out of Goa harbour to begin the Sea Phase of Exercise Varuna.

The two countries started their bilateral service exercises in 1983 and was christened as ‘Varuna’ in 2001. (Image: MoD)

After a fruitful harbour phase over the last six days, the visiting French Naval (FN) ships sailed out of Goa harbour to begin the Sea Phase of Exercise Varuna. The aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, and French Navy ships Provence, LaTouche Treville, Forbin and tanker Marne along with a submarine are exercising with Indian Navy ships.

The India naval ships Chennai, Mumbai, Tarkash, the tanker INS Deepak and a submarine also took to sea where the two navies will conduct extensive evolutions to further interoperability and professional skills towards better maritime cooperation. Air-to-air combat exercise, Air defence exercises, anti-submarine exercises and surface shoots were some of the exercises conducted on Day 1.

This year the war games are not only complex but also focused on carrier operations and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) training.

The second phase of the war games will be off Djibouti coast near the Horn of Africa end of May. India which has been seeking access to Djibouti naval base has finally got approval for the same and will now be able to use it for refits and repairs.

In the component of the exercise there will be dogfights between the Indian Mig-29K fighters and French Rafale-M fighters which are going to operate off their respective aircraft carriers.

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

Over years, the joint exercises have grown not only in scope but also are complex and in line with Indo-French Joint Strategic Vision Cooperation within the Indian Ocean Region signed by two leaders of the two countries last March.

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