Indo-French joint naval exercise Varuna 2017 conducted off French coasts
Initiated in 2001, the naval exercise Varuna aims to develop interoperability between the navies of the two countries by sharing experiences and tactics so as to be able to conduct operations jointly, should the necessity arise.
24 April to 12 May 2017
The 2017 edition of the major Indo-French naval exercise, Varuna, was held from 24 April to 12 May 2017. The Indian Navy sent four of its foremost ships for the exercise: guided missile destroyer INS Mumbai, two guided missile frigates INS Trishul and INS Tarkash, and replenishment and repair ship INS Aditya. From the French Navy, too, four ships participated: multi-mission frigates Auvergne and Aquitaine, the anti-aircraft frigate Cassard, and the stealth frigate La Fayette.
Helicopters and Rafale fighter jets were also in service for this exercise, which was held off French shores, first in the Mediterranean, then in the Atlantic.
The first phase of preparations at the quay of Toulon was an opportunity for exchanges on expertise and interactions at all levels of the military hierarchy between the Indian and French navies.
Initiated in 2001, the naval exercise Varuna aims to develop interoperability between the navies of the two countries by sharing experiences and tactics so as to be able to conduct operations jointly, should the necessity arise. They are held as part of a longstanding, periodic and sustained bilateral cooperation with India for many years, as witnessed by the numerous port calls made by the ships in both countries.
A powerful symbol of the strategic partnership concluded with India in 1998, this exercise has enabled the participating navies to enhance mutual knowledge and interoperability, as well as maintain the ties of deep friendship between the French and Indian navies. This exercise was also a concrete illustration of the importance that France and India – both powers in the Indian Ocean Rim – attach to maritime security.