INDIA. Mumbai: The 20th edition of the Indo-French bilateral Naval exercise ‘Varuna-2022’, conducted in the Arabian Sea from March 30 onwards, covering a broad spectrum of maritime operations, was concluded on Sunday.
The eventful tactical sea phase of the exercise laid primary focus on advanced anti-submarine warfare tactics, gunnery shoots, seamanship evolutions, tactical manoeuvres, and extensive air operations.
“The units also undertook cross-deck landings by integral helicopters, showcasing a high level of interoperability between them. Gun firing and underway replenishment procedures were also exercised between ships,” an official statement said.
The final phase of the exercise progressed with a tapered focus on advanced anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercises. INS Chennai with Sea King Mk 42B, maritime patrol aircraft P8i, French Navy frigate FS Courbet, support vessel FS Loire, and other units exercised on the full spectrum of ASW operations. The later part of the exercise also included the exchange of sea riders at sea.
The last day of the exercise had cross visits of personnel and cross embarkation of sea riders. Participants and operations teams of Participating units met onboard INS Chennai for a comprehensive debrief. All evolutions conducted at sea were discussed with options for possible inclusions in future editions of the exercise.
After debriefing, the culmination of the exercise was marked by the traditional steam past between ships of both navies. INS Chennai passed the column of French warships at close range with personnel biding each other favourable winds and following seas for the journey ahead.
Seamless coordination, precise execution of manoeuvres and clockwork execution of complex anti-submarine warfare exercises characterized the conduct of Varuna-2022. All operational objectives of the exercise were accomplished by the participants in full measure.
“The exercise reflected high synergy and mutual understanding between the Indian Navy and French Navy that will bolster their ability to undertake joint operations in the maritime theatre when required. Varuna-2022 will go a long way in strengthening the strategic partnership between India and France,” the statement added.