The first part of the Indo-French joint naval exercise, ‘Varuna’ kicked off in the Arabian Sea off Goa coast on Wednesday. The exercise will be conducted till May 10. Despite fire incident, aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is taking part in the drill along with French carrier Charles De Gaulle. Apart from INS Vikramaditya, destroyer INS Mumbai, the Teg-class frigate, INS Tarkash, the Shishumar- class submarine, INS Shankul, and the Deepak- class fleet tanker, INS Deepak, will be participating in this exercise. Indian Navy Ships – INS Kolkata, INS Shakti to Participate in Chinese International Fleet Review on April 23.
Two destroyers, FNS Forbin and FNS Provence, the frigate FNS Latouche-Treville, the tanker FNS Marne and a nuclear submarine of the French Navy, Marine Nationale will be taking part in the exercise. French Rafale and Indian MiG-29K fighters will also be part of the joint exercise. The ‘Varuna’ will be conducted in two phases. The harbour phase at Goa would include cross-visits, professional interactions and discussions and sports events. The sea phase would comprise various exercises across the spectrum of maritime operations. INS Vikrant, First Indigenous-Built AirCraft Carrier to Be Delivered to Indian Navy in 2021: Admiral Sunil Lanba.
Indian Navy’s Tweet:
#IndianNavy & @MarineNationale to conduct #ExerciseVaruna, a Bilateral Exercise, off Goa/West Coast of India (01-10 May 19). French Aircraft Carrier FNS Charles de Gaulle & Destroyer FNS Forbin entering harbour Goa https://t.co/IqLjs83M9j pic.twitter.com/F0aNE2Wgeo
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) May 1, 2019
The second part of the ‘Varuna’ is scheduled to be held at the end of May in Djibouti. The bilateral naval exercise initiated in 1983 and christened as ‘Varuna’ in 2001, form a vital part of the Indo-French strategic partnership. Having grown in scope and complexity over the years, this exercise exemplifies the strong relations between the two nations, in line with the Joint Strategic Vision of India-French Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region signed by President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the former’s State visit to India in March 2018. Indian Navy to Get 16 Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts; Defence Ministry Signs Two Contracts With Cochin Shipyard and GRSE.
The Varuna exercise aims at developing interoperability between the two navies and fostering mutual cooperation by learning from each other’s best practices to conduct joint operations. The exercise underscores the shared interests and commitment of both nations in promoting maritime security.
(Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@indiannavy)