New Delhi: The 20th edition of the Bilateral Naval Exercise between Indian and French Navies – ‘VARUNA’ is being conducted in the Arabian Sea from 30 March to 3 April 2022.
The Bilateral Naval Exercises between the two Navies were initiated in 1993. The exercise was christened as ‘VARUNA’ in 2001 and has become a vital part of India – France strategic bilateral relationship.
According to the Ministry of Defence, Various units including ships, submarines, maritime patrol aircraft, fighter aircraft and helicopters of the two navies are participating in the exercise. These units will endeavour to enhance and hone their operational skills in maritime theatre, augment inter-operability to undertake maritime security operations and demonstrate their commitment to promote peace, security and stability in the region as an integrated force.
Having grown in scope and complexity over the years, VARUNA series of exercises continue to provide both the navies opportunities to learn from each other’s best practices. 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.
There has been significant growth in recent years in the India-France maritime security cooperation. The Indian Ocean has become a priority area of discussion in recent Indo-French bilateral interactions as both countries are eager to expand their long-standing strategic partnership to the maritime realm.
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