Indian, French ships embark on sea phase of ‘Varuna’
Panaji: Indian and French naval ships took to the seas off Goa as part of the sea phase of Varuna, the largest Indo-French naval exercise till date, a statement issued by the Indian Navy on Wednesday said.
French nuclear powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and French Navy ships Provence, La Touche Treville, Forbin and tanker Marne along with a submarine will conduct inter-operability exercises along with Indian naval ships INS Chennai, INS Mumbai, INS Tarkash, tanker INS Deepak and a submarine.
“The two navies will conduct extensive evolutions to further inter-operability and professional skills towards better maritime cooperation,” the statement said.
The bilateral naval exercise initiated in 1983 and christened ‘Varuna’ in 2001 forms a vital part of the Indo-French strategic partnership and has grown in scope and complexity over the years.
The harbour phase of the exercise concluded on May 6 while the sea phase, which has already witnessed air-to-air combat, air defence exercises, anti-submarine exercises and surface shoots, will end on May 10.