India and France to hold their largest Naval Exercise VARUNA
India and France are all set to hold their largest-ever naval exercise with aircraft carriers, destroyers, submarines and fighters early May as part of their expanding strategic partnership.
The exercise has been christened ‘Varuna’ and will take place off Goa and Karwar from 1 May 2019.
The conduct of Varuna exercise was reiterated in the Joint Statement made by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France, on the 10th of March 2018.
The two countries will be deploying their aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and FNS Charles de gaulle with their Mig-29K and Rafale-M naval fighter jets.
The Indian participation will also include the destroyer INS Mumbai, frigate INS Trikand with their integral helicopters, IN submarine Kalvari, P8-I aircrafts and Dornier Maritime Patrol aircraft.
This comes after the successful operationalisation of the logistics support agreement between India and France under which Indian warships can access the French bases like Reunion Islands and in Djibouti.
Under the same pact, French anti-aircraft destroyer FNS Cassard had docked at the Mumbai naval port in January 2019. This was second such logistics support agreement signed by India after the one signed by it with United States (US) in 2016.
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