Indo-French naval exercise (VARUNA), ten day long exercise commenced on 23 April 2015 and included both a harbour and sea phase.
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 included 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 exercise goes a long way in enhancing interoperability between the two navies and also showcases the close ties between the two countries.
Relations between India and France have traditionally been close and friendly. With the establishment of strategic partnership in 1998, therehas been significant progress in all areas of bilateral cooperation andexchanges including naval exercises. The Indian Navy and the French Navy havebeen conducting naval exercises since 1983 and following the establishment of astrategic partnership, these exercises were christened as ‘VARUNA’ in 2001.Till date, thirteen such exercises have been conducted and the last exerciseVARUNA 12 was conducted in the Mediterranean Sea from 19-22 Jul 12 off Toulon.