Indo-French joint sea, military exercise to conclude tomorrow

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New Delhi, Sep 18 (UNI) Indo-French joint sea and military exercise Varuna 07 being conducted off shore Somali coast and in the Gulf of Aden aimed at increasing the two navies inter-operability would complete tomorrow.

The annual joint exercise had started on September 11 and held various manoeuvres such as visiting ships by airborne and seaborne means, commando projections and air to surface exercise and maritime patrol.

The French contribution in the exercise came from Djibouti based unit from where six Mirage 2000 and two Pumas helicopter participated while from Alindien's ( Admiral Commanding the Indian Ocean Maritime Zone) Command came a maritime patrol aircraft, a corvette and the 'La Motte Picquet frigate, which spearheaded the exercise from the French side.

The Indian navy participated through the destroyer 'Rajput', guided missile frigate 'Beas', supply ship 'the Jyoti, two helicopters and several commando units.

Varuna 07, is a continuation of the yearly organised exercise such as Varuna 06 held in March and April 2006 off-shore Goa and also consistent with the Garuda biennial exercises carried out last February in which Indian and French Air Force squadrons participated.

India and France have been establishing a solid and ever strengthening partnership that has been formalised since the two countries signed a comprehensive defence agreement in 2006. Varuna 07 signified this common will to develop and strengthen an ambitious cooperation between the two countries.

UNI

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