The 19th edition of the Indian and French Navy bilateral exercise VARUNA-2021 is scheduled to be conducted in the Arabian Sea from today. The three-day exercise will see high tempo-naval operations at sea, including advanced air defence and anti-submarine exercises. The Units of both the navies will endeavour to enhance and hone their war-fighting skills to demonstrate their ability as an integrated force to promote peace, security and stability in the maritime domain.
Defence Ministry said, from the Indian Navy’s side, guided missile stealth destroyer INS Kolkata, guided missile frigates INS Tarkash, INS Talwar and Chetak integral helicopters will participate in the exercise. The French Navy will be represented by the Aircraft Carrier Charles-de-Gaulle with Rafale-M fighter, E2C Hawkeye aircraft and Command and supply ship Var.
The Indian side will be led by Rear Admiral Ajay Kochhar, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, while the French side will be led by Rear Admiral Marc Aussedat, Commander Task Force 473.