The fourteenth edition of Indo-French Naval Exercise named VARUNA-15 commenced on 23 April 2015 off the coast of Goa. The 10-day long joint naval exercise will end on 2 May 2015.
It is aimed at further deriving mutual benefit from the experiences of the two navies and strengthening the bilateral ties between India and France.
The French Navy is represented by Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle, two destroyers Chevalier Paul and Jean de Vienne, replenishment tanker Meuse and a maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique 2. The Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle is carrying its complement of fighter aircraft Rafale M, Strike Aircraft Super Etendard, E2C Hawkeye AWACS and helicopters Dauphin and Alouette 3.
The Indian Navy is represented by Aircraft Carrier INS Viraat, destroyer INS Mumbai, stealth frigate INS Tarkash, guided missile frigate INS Gomati, replenishment tanker INS Deepak, submarine INS Shankul and a few Fast Attack Craft. Aviation assets of the Indian Navy participating in VARUNA-15 include carrier-borne fighter aircraft Sea Harriers, maritime reconnaissance aircraft P-8 I and Dornier along with integral helicopters Seaking 42B and Chetak.
The Indian Navy and the French Navy have been conducting naval exercises since 1983 and following the establishment of a strategic partnership in 1998, these exercises were christened as VARUNA in 2001. Till date, thirteen such exercises have been conducted and the last exercise VARUNA 12 was conducted in the Mediterranean Sea from 19-22 July 2012 off Toulon in France.
Where: Off the coast of Goa
When: 23 April 2015