India and France begins 21st VARUNA Naval Exercise

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As per the Ministry of Defence, the 21st edition of the bilateral naval exercise “Varuna”, which is a bilateral exercise between India and France, has commenced on the western coast of India. There will be an indigenous guided missile stealth destroyer, the Indian Navy Ship Chennai, an indigenous guided missile frigate, Indian Navy Ship Teg, maritime patrol aircraft, the P-8I and Dornier, as well as integral helicopters and MiG29K fighter planes participating in this edition of the exercise.

In addition to the aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle, the French Navy will also be represented by the frigates FS Forbin and Provence, as well as the support vessel FS Marne and the maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique. During the exercise, which will take place between 16 and 20 January 2023, advanced air defence exercises will be conducted. In addition, tactical manoeuvres, surface firings, underway replenishment, and other maritime operations will be carried out.

It is the intention of both navies to hone their warfighting skills in maritime theatres, to enhance their interoperability, and to demonstrate their ability to conduct multidiscipline operations in the maritime domain as an integrated force that can promote peace, security, and stability in the region through their participation in this event. Through this exercise, the two navies are able to interact at an operational level in order to cultivate mutual cooperation for the sake of good order at sea, highlighting the shared commitment of both nations to ensuring the security, safety and freedom of the global maritime commons.

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