Business & Defence

India And France Have Begun Massive Naval Exercise In The Arabian Sea

Story Highlights
  • The Varuna series of exercises is in its 20th iteration, and it has become an important aspect of the strategic relationship between the two countries.
  • During his visit to India this week, French Navy Chief Admiral Pierre Vandier met with his Indian counterpart Admiral R Hari Kumar to discuss methods to preserve peace and stability in the Indian Ocean in the face of growing Chinese involvement in the region.

On Wednesday, India and France began a five-day mammoth naval exercise in the Arabian Sea, reflecting their strengthening maritime security cooperation. The Varuna drill will feature ships, submarines, maritime patrol aircraft, fighter planes, and helicopters from both navies, according to the Indian Navy.

“These units will strive to improve and perfect their operational skills in the maritime theatre, strengthen interoperability to conduct maritime security operations, and demonstrate their commitment to promote peace, security, and stability in the region as an integrated force,” the statement stated.

The Varuna series of exercises is in its 20th iteration, and it has become an important aspect of the strategic relationship between the two countries.

“The exercise has served as a primary catalyst for operational-level encounters between the two navies, highlighting both nations’ shared commitment to the security, safety, and freedom of the global marine commons,” the statement stated.

During his visit to India this week, French Navy Chief Admiral Pierre Vandier met with his Indian counterpart Admiral R Hari Kumar to discuss methods to preserve peace and stability in the Indian Ocean in the face of growing Chinese involvement in the region.

The French Navy Chief’s visit occurred more than a month after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited Paris.

During the visit, Jaishankar stated that India regards France as a “reliable” partner in combating a wide range of security threats, from the bottom to space, and from cyber to the oceans.

The marine cooperation between India and France has grown significantly in recent years. In April of last year, the Indian and French navy conducted a major wargame in the Arabian Sea.

The French Navy participated in the exercise with its nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and its entire carrier strike group, demonstrating strengthening naval cooperation.

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