The fourteenth edition of the Indo-French naval exercise Varuna, has launched in Goa, India, with the arrival of four French naval ships.
The ten-day exercise will use the collective experience of both navies to further strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries.
The exercise will also help develop standard operating procedures, including joint maritime air operations planning and an exchange of carrier operational capabilities.
During the exercise the two combat forces will conduct coordinated anti-submarine exercises, surface exercises, cross deck flying, damage control and fire fighting, air defence, firing drills, air to sea firing, tactical exercises and visit board search and seize operations.
The French Navy is being 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.
India’s INS Viraat destroyer, stealth frigate Tarkash, guided missile frigate Gomati, replenishment tanker Deepak, submarine Shankul and a few fast attack craft, will also take part in the exercise.
Charles de Gaulle will be carrying its complement of fighter aircraft Rafale M, Strike Aircraft Super Etendard, E2C Hawkeye AWACS and helicopters Dauphin and Alouette 3.
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 will also participate in the drills.
The navies of both the countries have initiated regular interactions that have led to the gradual increase in the complexity and professional content of the joint exercises.