The 19th edition of the Indian and French Navy bilateral exercise ‘VARUNA-2021’ is scheduled to be conducted in the Arabian Sea from 25th to 27th April 2021.
- From the Indian Navy’s side, guided missile stealth destroyer Kolkata, guided missile frigates Tarkash and Talwar, Fleet Support Ship Deepak, with Seaking 42B & Chetak integral helicopters, a Kalvari class submarine and P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft, will participate in the exercise.
- The French Navy will be represented by the Aircraft Carrier Charles-de-Gaulle with Rafale-M fighter, E2C Hawkeye aircrafts and helicopters Caïman M and Dauphin embarked, Horizon-class Air defense destroyer Chevalier Paul, Aquitaine-class multi-missions frigate Provence with a Caïman M helicopter embkared and Command and supply ship Var.
- The Indian side will be led by Rear Admiral Ajay Kochhar, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, while the French side will be led by Rear Admiral Marc Aussedat, Commander Task Force 473.
- The three day exercise will see high tempo-naval operations at sea, including advanced air defence and anti-submarine exercises, intense fixed and rotary wing flying operations, tactical manoeuvres, surface and anti-air weapon firings, underway replenishment and other maritime security operations.
- VARUNA-21 highlights growing bonhomie and showcases increased levels of synergy, coordination and inter-operability between the two friendly navies.
The units of the two navies in the Varuna bilateral naval exercise will endeavour to enhance their warfighting skills in order to demonstrate their ability as an integrated force to promote security, peace and stability in the maritime domain.