Three-day India-France VARUNA exercise concludes in Arabian Sea
With increase in scope, complexity of operations and level of participation, VARUNA exercise has strengthened India-France defence partnership
Three-day ‘VARUNA-2021’ bilateral naval exercise between India and France concluded on Tuesday, enabling interoperability and strengthening the coordination between the two navies.
Conducted from Aril 25 to 27, in the Arabian Sea, the exercise witnessed high tempo-naval operations at sea, including advanced air defence and anti-submarine exercises, intense fixed and rotary wing flying operations including cross deck helicopter landings, tactical manoeuvres, surface and anti-air weapon firings, underway replenishment and other maritime security operations.
From the Indian Navy’s side, guided missile stealth destroyer INS Kolkata, guided missile frigates INS Tarkash and INS Talwar, Fleet Support Ship INS Deepak, with Seaking 42B and Chetak integral helicopters, a Kalvari class submarine and P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft, participated in the 19th edition of the VARUNA exercise.
The French Navy was represented by the Aircraft Carrier Charles-de-Gaulle with Rafale-M fighter, E2C Hawkeye aircrafts and helicopters Caïman M and Dauphin embarked, Horizon-class Air defense destroyer Chevalier Paul, Aquitaine-class multi-missions frigate FNS Provence with a Caïman M helicopter embarked and Command and supply ship Var.
“Units of both navies honed and enhanced their war-fighting skills to demonstrate their ability as an integrated force to promote peace, security and stability in the maritime domain,” the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
The common understanding of the two navies in executing maritime operations was evident right from the start of the exercise wherein the entire planning was carried out through virtual meeting and the exercises were conducted completely in the non-contact format.
The seamless coordination, precise execution of manoeuvres, and accuracy in complex exercises characterized the conduct of Varuna-2021 and has helped further strengthen mutual confidence, inter-operability and sharing of best practices between both Navies.
Indian Navy’s guided missile frigate Tarkash will continue to exercise with the French Navy’s Carrier Strike Group (CSG) from April 28 to May 1, 2021 participating in advanced surface, anti-submarine and air-defence operations with the French CSG.