India, France to hold joint naval exercise off Brittany

June 15th, 2009 - 8:09 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) The Indian and French navies, which have been conducting the “Varuna” joint exercise for the past seven years, will engage outside Indian waters for the first time when the war game is conducted off the coast of Brittany June 27-July 4.
“For the last seven years, India and France have continually strengthened their bilateral naval relation as a part of which we have conducted an annual bilateral exercise, called Varuna. This exercise aims at enhancing interoperability between the two navies, with an ever increasing complexity,” a defence ministry statement said Monday.

“This year, for the first time, Varuna will be conducted outside Indian waters, off the coast of Brittany from June 27-July 4 as a part of the Indian task force’s deployment to Europe from May to July 2009,” the statement added.

The Indian component for the exercise comprises the indigenously-built guided missile destroyer INS Delhi, the guided missile frigates INS Brahmaputra and INS Beas and the replenishment vessel INS Aditya and their integral helicopters.

The French Navy will field the destroyer Primauguet, the frigate Lieutenant de Vaisseau Le Hanaff and the nuclear-powered attack submarine Emeraude. Several maritime patrol aircraft and navy fighters, will also participate in the exercise, the statement said.

The naval partnership between the two nations is based on a defence agreement signed by them in 2006.

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