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Defence

Ex Varuna-23: Boosts India-France naval capabilities

September 9, 2023 2:55 PM IST

Naval exercise | India France relations

In a powerful display of maritime cooperation, Phase 2 of the 21st edition of the Varuna bilateral exercise between the Indian and French Navy was conclueded on September 8 in the Arabian Sea. Over the course of three days, this joint exercise saw guided missile frigates, tankers, maritime patrol aircraft, and integral helicopters from both nations.

In a post on social media platform X, the Indian Navy shared a few glimpses of the exercise and described it as a bridge of friendship.

Units of both navies endeavoured to enhance and hone their warfighting skills, improve interoperability, and demonstrate their ability to promote peace, security, and stability in the region. The first phase of ‘Varuna-2023’ was conducted off India’s Western Seaboard from January 16 to 20. 

The roots of the Indian and French Navy’s bilateral naval exercise can be traced back to its initiation in 1993. The exercise was later christened as ‘Varuna’ in 2001 and has since become a hallmark of the robust India-France strategic bilateral relationship. The exercise underscores the shared commitment of both nations to ensuring the security, safety, and freedom of the global maritime commons.

Having grown in scope and complexity over the years, this exercise provides an opportunity to learn from each other’s best practices and procedures.

The exercise not only enhances the professional capabilities of the participating naval personnel but also contributes to strengthening overall maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.

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Last updated on: 19th June 2024