The 19th edition of the “Varuna” naval exercises between India and France got off to a start with large-scale drills on April 25 in the western Arabian Sea.
Key-highlights of the meeting
- This edition of the combat readiness war games between Indian and French warships witnessed the participation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Navy for the first time, making it a trilateral naval exercise.
- India and France have been holding these exercises since 1993.
The Indian Side
- Taking part in the exercises are INS Kolkata, the Indian Navy’s guided missile stealth destroyer; INS Tarkash and INS Talwar, guided missile frigates; INS Deepak, fleet support ship, with its complement of Sea King 42B and Chetak integral helicopters; a Kalvari class submarine; and the P8I long range maritime patrol aircraft.
The French Side
- The French naval assets in Varuna-2021 is led by the Charles de Gaulle, the French Navy’s aircraft carrier with its complete complement of 20 Rafale marine combat fighter aircraft; two E2C Hawkeye twin-turboprops, the all-weather, carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning aircraft; and Caïman Marine and Dauphin embarked helicopters.