Review of the Franco-Indian Naval Exercise VARUNA 23.1
From January 16 to 20, the Indian Navy and the carrier strike group conducted joint training off Goa, as part of VARUNA 23. This new edition of the annual Franco-Indian exercise has strengthened the interoperability of Indian naval forces and French. These two nations bordering the Indian Ocean maintain regular cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, marked this year by the 25th anniversary of their strategic partnership.
At sea, several Indian and French frigates evolved alongside the aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle and the command and supply building Marne, during complex exercises in all areas of combat. Liaison officers integrated into the command posts have made it possible to streamline the coordination of the resources deployed and the sharing of situation assessment. Indian and French frigates deployed their weapons systems to simultaneously deal with fictitious threats on the surface.
In the air, Indian Navy Mig-29 fighters, P-8 and Dornier maritime patrol aircraft took part in advanced air combat maneuvers alongside Rafale Marines and the E2C-Hawkeye forward air lookout aircraft of the on-board air group. Mig-29s also performed landing approaches on the Charles De Gaulle .
VARUNA 23 thus contributed to preparing the Indian and French crews for all the common security challenges they may face in the Indian Ocean. The ships mobilized their surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-aircraft warfare capabilities. Refueling training at sea, inspection exercises and cross-landing of helicopters also punctuated these realistic operational scenarios.
The Indian and French Navies are confirming their ability to ensure the security of air and sea space in the Indian Ocean. They illustrate in a concrete way the dynamism of the strategic partnership between these two countries, anxious to ensure that the Indo-Pacific remains a free, stable, open and prosperous space.