The first phase of Indo-French joint naval exercise Varuna 2018 began on March 19, 2018 at the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) in Vasco da Gama, Goa.
The exercise is being held in the Arabian Sea, off the Goa coast.
Key Highlights of Varuna 2018
• French submarine and frigate Jean de Vienne and Indian destroyer INS Mumbai and frigate Trikand with their integral helicopters will be participating in the exercise.
• Moreover, Indian submarine Kalvari, P8-1 and Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft and a Mig 29K fighter aircraft will also be participating in the exercise.
• The first phase of the exercise will conclude on March 24, 2018.
• The second and third phases of the exercise will be held at the Chennai coast in April 2018 and in La Reunion Island in May 2018, respectively.
• During the exercise, both the countries will actively explore additional measures to facilitate operational level interactions between their respective armed forces.
With the establishment of strategic partnership in 1998, there has been significant progress in bilateral relations of India and France, including naval exercises between India and France.
The Indian Navy and the French Navy have been conducting naval exercises since 1983. These exercises were christened as Varuna in 2001.