Exercise Varuna 2019: Indo-French Joint Naval Exercise Begins in Arabian Sea Off Goa Coast

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:

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)

Advertisements

Indian Navy Inducts Third Ship of LCU Mk-IV Class at Port Blair

DbooxF3XUAAFuzj.jpg
The ceremony of commissionsing of LCU L53 (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@Indiannavy

The Indian Navy inducted the third ship of the Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk-IV project at Port Blair on April 25. The ship was commissioned as INLCU L53 by Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, commander-in-chief of Andaman and Nicobar Command, of the Indian Armed Forces’ tri-service command. The command oversees India’s Andaman and Nicobar Island territories, including the strategic Strait of Malacca in the Indian Ocean.

The defence ministry in a statement said, “LCU MK-IV ship is an amphibious ship with a displacement of 830 Tons and is capable of transporting combat equipment such as Main Battle Tanks Arjun, T72, and other Armored Vehicles. The ship is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and advanced systems such as the Integrated Bridge System (IBS) and the Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS). The indigenous CRN 91 Gun with Stabilised Optronic Pedestal provides the ship the requisite offensive capability for undertaking patrolling in addition.”

The (LCU) Mk-IV vessel can sail through the sea at a speed of 15kt besides it can also carry 145 tons of military equipment in addition to 160 troops. The ship will help the Indian Navy in carrying out multi-role activities, such as beaching operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, search/rescue, and supply and replenishment of distant islands. According to the defence ministry, the remaining five ships of the project are in an advanced stage of construction and are scheduled to be inducted into Indian Navy over the next year and a half.

The Landing Craft Utility (LCU) is a type of boat used by amphibious forces to transport equipment and troops to the shore. They are capable of transporting tracked or wheeled and troops from amphibious assault ships to beachheads or piers. India has four LCU Mk-III class ships and three LCU MK-IV ships. The first LCU Mk-IV of this class was commissioned in March 2017 as LCU L51 and the second ship of this class was inducted in August 2017 LCU L52.

The LCU Mark-IV ships have been developed in-house by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. (GRSE) as per the request by the Indian Navy. The ships are designed for multipurpose amphibious operations that are jointly carried out by Indian Navy and Indian Army for ensuring maritime security of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, and Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea.