Indo-French bilateral exercise ''Varuna-08'' from May eight

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Chennai, May 7 (UNI) The tenth Indo-French bilateral Naval exercise ''Varuna-08'' will be conducted off east-coast from May eight to 16.

The Indian Naval group consists of newly inducted Landing Platform Doc (LPD) 'Jalshwa,' guided-missile destroyer 'Ranjit,' guided-missile Corvette 'Kirch' and submarine 'Valgi' would be in action, a defence release said here today.

The French task force would comprise of their LPD 'Mistral' and the guided-missile destroyer 'Dupleix' and an embedded Royal Navy Frigate 'Westminister.' The joint 'Task Force' for the exercise would be led by Rear Admiral Aladin Hinden of the French Navy.

The 'Varuna' series of bilateral exercises are a significant facet of the growing co-operation between India and France. This series of exercises between the Navies of the two nations commenced in 2001 and had grown in scope and complexity over the years.

Nine exercises conducted thus far had met the underlying aims of facilitating mutual learning and cross pollination of best practices.

This particular edition of the exercise would, in addition, provide an opportunity to build on the Indian Navy's cooperative capability of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief through the participation of the newly inducted platform 'Jalshwa' along with the French Navy's 'Mistral.' In addition, intermediate and advanced level anti-Sumbarine Warfare Exercises, and Maritime Interdiction Operation (MIO) would also be conducted during the exercise.

Apart from reaffirming our frienship, harbour based professional, social and sports interaction between the two Navies have also been planned.


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