In further deepening of bilateral engagement on security frontiers, India and France yesterday (25 April) kicked off the three-days-long 'Varuna' naval exercise in the Arabian sea, Times of India.
The exercise is witnessing participation from the French Navy's nuclear-powered aircraft carrier FNS Charles de Gaulle with its Rafale-M naval fighter jets. France has also deployed an air defence destroyer Chevalier Paul, multi-mission frigate FNS Provence and command and supply ship Var. It has also deployed E2C Hawkeye aircraft and helicopters.
Meanwhile, from the Indian end, the Indian Navy has deployed guided-missile stealth destroyer INS Kolkata, stealth frigates INS Tarkash and INS Talwar, fleet support ship INS Deepak, a Kalvari class submarine, Seaking-42B and Chetak helicopters and P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft.
The exercise would see the navies of the two nations partake in advanced air defence and anti-submarine warfare exercises, intense fixed and rotary wing flying operations, tactical manoeuvres, surface and anti-air weapons firings, and many more maritime security operations.
It should be noted that shortly before this, earlier this month, the two navies had also partaken in another exercise in the Bay of Bengal. The exercise involved Australia, Japan, and the United States as well, and was called "France plus Quad" La Perouse wargames.
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