India and France wrap out Varuna 2021 bilateral exercise

Varuna 2021
Participating units cruising in formation (Source: Indian Navy)

The 19th edition of the Indian and French Navy bilateral exercise ‘VARUNA 2021’ concluded on 27th April 2021, the Indian Ministry of Defence announced. United Arab Emirates (UAE) participated in the exercise for the first time

India MoD press release;

Exercise VARUNA 2021 has been a critical enabler in building interoperability and strengthening the coordination between the two navies, this exercise has matured over the years with the increase in scope, the complexity of operations and level of participation. Conducted from 25-27 Apr 2021 in the Arabian Sea, the exercise witnessed high tempo-naval operations at sea, including advanced air defence and anti-submarine exercises, intense fixed and rotary wing flying operations including cross deck helicopter landings, tactical manoeuvres, surface and anti-air weapon firings, underway replenishment and other maritime security operations. Units of both navies honed and enhanced their war-fighting skills to demonstrate their ability as an integrated force to promote peace, security and stability in the maritime domain.

The common understanding of the two navies in executing maritime operations was evident right from the start of the exercise wherein the entire planning was carried out through virtual meeting and the exercises were conducted completely in the non-contact format.

The seamless coordination, precise execution of manoeuvres, and accuracy in complex exercises characterized the conduct of Varuna-2021 and has helped further strengthen mutual confidence, inter-operability and sharing of best practices between both Navies.

Indian Navy’s guided-missile frigate Tarkash will continue to exercise with the French Navy’s Carrier Strike Group (CSG) from 28th April to 1st May 2021, participating in advanced surface, anti-submarine and air-defence operations with the French CSG.

varuna 2021
Photo courtesy of Indian Navy

Varuna 2021 exercise:

The Indian and French Navies have been conducting bilateral maritime exercises since 1993. Since 2001, these exercises have been called ‘VARUNA’. These interactions further underscore the shared values as partner navies in ensuring freedom of seas and commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order.

The ‘Varuna’ joint exercise is part of the French carrier strike group’s ‘CLEMENCEAU 21’ deployment, which the French Navy is conducting in the eastern Mediterranean, the Gulf and the Indian Ocean (Arabian Sea).

Its goal is to contribute to the stabilization of these strategic zones and strengthen cooperation with the navies of partner countries, particularly India for the Indian Ocean component.

The exercise will see high tempo-naval operations at sea, including advanced air defence and anti-submarine exercises, tactical manoeuvres, underway replenishment and other maritime security operations.

Check out Naval Library App to find out the specifications of the Exercise Participants.

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