The fourteenth edition of the Indo-French naval exercise Varuna 2015 has successfully concluded off Goa, India, enhancing interoperability between the two navies and strengthening bilateral ties between the countries.
The ten-day exercise, which commenced on 23 April, included both a harbour and sea phase.
The exercise included maritime operations ranging from aircraft carrier operations, anti submarines warfare drills, maritime interdiction operations to multi-ship replenishment operations.
The French Navy was represented by the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, two destroyers Chevalier Paul and Jean de Vienne, replenishment tanker Meuse and a maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique 2.
Charles de Gaulle was carrying its complement of fighter aircraft Rafale M, Strike Aircraft Super Etendard, E2C Hawkeye AWACS and helicopters Dauphin and Alouette 3.
India’s INS Viraat, destroyer Mumbai, stealth frigate Tarkash, guided missile frigate Gomati, replenishment tanker Deepak, submarine Shankul and a few fast attack craft, took part in the exercise.
The Indian aviation assets, including carrier-borne fighter aircraft Sea Harriers, maritime reconnaissance aircraft P-8 I and Dorniers along with integral helicopters Seaking 42B and Chetak also participated in the drills.
India and France have been conducting naval exercises since 1983, which were named as Varuna in 2001 after the establishment of a strategic partnership between the countries in 1998.
The last exercise Varuna 12 was conducted in the Mediterranean Sea from 19 to 22 July 2012 off Toulon, France.