INDIA. Mumbai: The 20th edition of the bilateral naval exercise ‘Varuna-2022’, which includes high-speed naval operations at sea, is taking place in the Arabian Sea from March 30 to April 3.
In 1993, the two Navies began conducting bilateral naval exercises. In 2001, the workout was dubbed ‘Varuna.’ It has become an important aspect of the strategic bilateral partnership between India and France.
These encounters highlight the shared values of partner navies in guaranteeing maritime freedom and a commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order.
Various elements from both fleets are taking part in the drill, including ships, submarines, maritime patrol aircraft, fighter planes, and helicopters. As an integrated force in the marine domain, these units will strive to improve and perfect their operational skills in the maritime theatre, strengthen interoperability to conduct maritime security operations, and demonstrate their commitment to maintaining peace, security, and stability in the region.
The exercise will witness advanced air defense and anti-submarine exercises, intense fixed and rotary wing flying operations, tactical manoeuvres, surface, and anti-air weapon firings, underway replenishment, and other maritime security operations.
Having grown in scope and complexity over the years, the Varuna series of exercises continue to provide both the navies opportunities to learn from each other’s best practices. The exercise has been a principal driver for operational-level interactions between the two navies and has underscored the shared commitment of both nations to security, safety, and freedom of the global maritime commons.
Exercise Varuna has been a key enabler in strengthening the coordination between the two navies. This exercise has matured over the years with an increase in scope, complexity of operations, and level of participation.
The Desert Knight-21 and Garuda (Air exercise) and Shakti (Army exercise) are other Indo-French Joint Exercises. Last year, the Indian Navy had taken part in the France-led naval exercise “La Pérouse” with the navies of the US, Australia, and Japan.