Exercise Varuna 2022

The 20th edition of the bilateral naval exercise between the Indian and French Navies, ‘VARUNA’, was conducted in the Arabian Sea from 30th March to 3rd April 22.

30 March to 3 April 2022

Various units, including ships, submarines, maritime patrol aircraft, fighter aircraft and helicopters of the two navies participated in the exercise. These units endeavoured to hone their operational skills in the maritime theatre, augment inter-operability to undertake maritime security operations and demonstrate their commitment to promoting peace, security and stability in the region as an integrated force.

The exercise this year had an expanded scope to cover a broad spectrum of maritime operations. The eventful tactical sea phase of the exercise laid primary focus on advanced anti-submarine warfare tactics, gunnery shoots, seamanship evolutions, tactical manoeuvres and extensive air operations. The units also undertook cross deck landings by integral helicopters, showcasing a high level of interoperability between them. Gun firing and underway replenishment procedures were also exercised between ships.

The final phase of the exercise progressed with tapered focus on advanced anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercises. INS Chennai with Sea King Mk 42B, maritime patrol aircraft P8i, French Navy frigate FS Courbet, support vessel FS Loire, and other units exercised on full spectrum of ASW operations. The later part of the exercise also included exchange of sea-riders at sea.

The last day (03 Apr 22) of the exercise had cross visits of personnel, cross embarkation of sea-riders and a closing session was conducted. Participants and operations teams of participating units met onboard INS Chennai for a comprehensive debrief. All evolutions conducted at sea were discussed with options for possible inclusions in the future editions of the exercise. After debrief, culmination of the exercise was marked by the traditional steam past between ships of both navies. INS Chennai passed the column of French warships at close range with personnel biding each other favourable winds and following seas for the journey ahead. Seamless coordination, precise execution of manoeuvres, and clockwork execution of complex anti-submarine warfare exercises characterized the conduct of Varuna-2022. All operational objectives of the exercise were accomplished by the participants in full measure. The exercise reflected high synergy and mutual understanding between the Indian Navy and French Navy, which will bolster their ability to undertake joint operations in maritime theatre, when required. Varuna-2022 will go a long way towards strengthening the strategic partnership between India and France.

About VARUNA Exercise :

The Bilateral Naval Exercises between the two Navies were initiated in 1983. The exercise was christened as ‘VARUNA’ in 2001 and has become a vital part of India–France strategic bilateral relationship.

Having grown in scope and complexity over the years, the 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.

Source: Press Information Bureau

Last modified on 07/04/2022

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