Fourteenth Indo-French naval exercise (VARUNA), scheduled for nine days, started with the arrival of four French naval ships at Goa in India on April 23. Representing the French Navy is Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle, two destroyers Chevalier Paul and Jean de Vienne, replenishment tanker Meuse and a maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique 2.
The Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle is carrying its complement of fighter aircraft Rafale M, Strike Aircraft Super Etendard, E2C Hawkeye AWACS and helicopters Dauphin and Alouette 3.
This naval exercise is covering the regional waters of the Arabain Sea as well as the Indian Ocean.
India’s home-made Aircraft Carrier INS Viraat, destroyer Mumbai, stealth frigate Tarkash, guided missile frigate Gomati, replenishment tanker Deepak, submarine Shankul and a few Fast Attack Craft are participating from the Indian side. Aviation assets of the Indian Navy participating in VARUNA-15 include carrier-borne fighter aircraft Sea Harriers, maritime reconnaissance aircraft P-8 I and Dorniers along with integral helicopters Seaking 42B and Chetak, a statement of the Indian Ministry of Defense said.
The scope of Exercise VARUNA includes the entire gamut of maritime operations from Aircraft Carrier Operations, Anti Submarines Warfare Exercises, Maritime Interdiction Operations to multi-ship replenishment exercise.
Regular IN-FN interaction over the years has allowed both navies to gradually and systematically increase the complexity and professional content of the joint exercises. VARUNA aims at deriving mutual benefit from the experiences of the two navies.
The confidence gained through such exercises helps develop Standard Operating Procedures, particularly in the fields of Joint Maritime Air Operations Planning with exchange of Carrier Operational Capabilities.
The other joint exercises include Coordinated Anti-Submarine Exercises, Surface Exercises, Cross Deck Flying, Damage Control and Fire Fighting, Air Defence, Firing Drills, Air to Sea Firing, Tactical Exercises and Visit Board Search and Seize Operations, which further hone the fighting efficiency of the two combat forces, the statement noted.