Varuna 2022: India-France to conduct Naval Exercise

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Dharamjot Kaur

India and France began a five-day naval wargame exercise on Wednesday, 30th March, as part of an effort to cumulatively increase maritime security cooperation. This is set to be the 20th edition of the maritime series of bilateral exercises, which has now become a vital part of strategic ties between the two countries.

In a statement issued by the Indian Navy, it said that multiple maritime platforms such as patrol and fighter aircrafts, helicopters, submarines and ships of the navies of the two nations, will be actively participating in this exercise.

“The exercise has been a principal driver for operational-level interactions between the two navies and has underscored the shared commitment of both nations to security, safety and freedom of the global maritime commons,” it said.

The French Navy Chief also visited India, a month after Indian External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar had travelled to Paris. Admiral Pierre Vandier of the French Naval Force held talks with Adm. R. Hari Kumar, his Indian counterpart, during his visit to the subcontinent. The conversation pivoted around avid mechanisms and strategies to establish and ascertain peace and stability in the Indian Ocean; more-so amidst the rising concern over Chinese intrusion in India’s and its neighbouring countries’ nautical space.

In spite of rising concerns amid Covid-19 last year, the Indian and French navies had successfully conducted the mega wargame exercise in April, 2021, in the Arabian Sea.

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