New Delhi, June 15 (ANI): The Indo-French naval exercise aimed at enhancing interoperability between the two navies with an ever increasing complexity will take place for the first time outside Indian waters, off the coasts of Brittany from June 27 to July 4.
Brittany occupies a large peninsula in the northwest of France, lying between the English Channel to the north and the Bay of Biscay to the south.
For the last seven years, India and France have continually strengthened their bilateral naval relation as a part of an annual bilateral exercise, Varuna.
Varuna will take place outside Indian waters, as a part of the Indian Task Force's deployment to Europe from May to July 2009. The exercise will involve many assets from the two nations. On the Indian side, the task force will comprise the destroyer Delhi, the frigates Brahmaputra and Beas, and the replenishment ship Aditya and their integral helicopters.
The French contribution will consist of assets placed under CECLANT's command (the Admiral Commanding Atlantic Ocean Zone), notably the destroyer Primauguet with a helicopter, the frigate Lieutenant de Vaisseau Le Hanaff, the nuclear powered attack submarine Emeraude.
Several French aircrafts will also take part in the exercise, including maritime patrol and navy's fighters.The naval partnership between the two nations is based on a comprehensive defence agreement signed by the Indian Prime Minister and the French President in 2006.
India and France both desire to strengthen their naval cooperation, which has already proven to be solid and is not restricted to the Varuna series of exercises alone, as is evident from ongoing activities in the Indian Ocean, where both navies are coordinating on suppression of piracy off the Somalian coast. (ANI)