India and France launch major naval exercise in the Arabian Sea | India News
NEW DELHI: India and France on Sunday it began its important naval exercise “Varuna” in the Arabian Sea, as a step towards promoting maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region.
The bilateral exercise, in which France has also deployed its nuclear-powered aircraft carrier FNS Charles de Gaulle with its Rafale-M naval jets, comes shortly after the two countries joined the US, Japan and Australia in the “France-plus-Quad”. The Pérousewargames in the Bay of Bengal earlier this month.
With China’s aggressive and expansionary behavior in the Indo-Pacific, there is growing strategic congruence between like-minded democratic countries to ensure a stable and secure Indo-Pacific as well as a rules-based order in the region.
“The three-day Varuna will see high-tempo naval operations at sea, including advanced air and anti-submarine defense exercises, intense fixed and rotary wing flight operations, tactical maneuvers, surface and anti-aircraft gun fire, among other operations of maritime security. ,” saying Navy spokesman, Commander Vivek Madhwal.
India has deployed the INS Kolkata stealth guided missile destroyer, the INS Tarkash and INS Talwar stealth frigates, the INS Deepak fleet support vessel, with integral Seaking-42B and Chetak helicopters, as well as a Kalvari-class diesel-electric submarine and P-8I long- range maritime patrol aircraft for the exercise.
In addition to the aircraft carrier, France has deployed the Chevalier Paul air defense destroyer, the multi-mission frigate FNS Provence and the command and supply ship Var, as well as E2C Hawkeye aircraft and helicopters.
“The joint exercise comprises several drills across the spectrum of maritime operations, with the aim of promoting interoperability and mutual learning between the two navies and reinforcing their capacity for joint action in a strategic area,” said the French embassy, in a release.
“In this sense, this exercise underscores the shared interests and commitment of both nations in promoting maritime security in the Indo-Pacific. It is testament to the vitality of the strategic partnership between France and India, which continues to strengthen despite the pandemic, “he added.
The joint exercise “Varuna” is part of the deployment of the French strike group “CLEMENCEAU 21” which is being carried out in the eastern Mediterranean, the Gulf and the indian ocean (Arabian Sea) from February to June this year.
“The objective is to contribute to the stabilization of these strategic areas and to strengthen cooperation with the navies of partner countries, in particular India for the Indian Ocean component. As part of this deployment, the carrier strike group also participates in anti-ISIS operations, ”the French embassy said.
After the completion of Varunna, INS Tarkash will continue to exercise with the French carrier strike group from April 28 to May 1, participating in advanced surface, anti-submarine and air defense operations.