The Indo-French war exercise that will be held from 11th January 200 nautical miles of Goa coast, has an element of novelty to it as this will be the first deployment of the French Navy’s FNS Forbin destroyer that was inducted only recently. FNS Forbin is part of the French carrier strike group led by the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.
The naval exercised named ‘Varuna 2010’ will also have E2C Hawkeye, the airborne early warning aircrafts as part of the French contingent according to French Rear Admiral Jean Louis Kerignard who is commanding the French Maritime Force.
The French strike force also includes FNS Tourville, FNS Meuse which is a supply ship and the nuclear powered submarine FNS Amethyste.
The Indian contingent comprises of INS Viraat, two frigates Godavari and Shishumar besides the submarine Shalki.
The exercises began on 7th January which was the harbor phase and the marine phase will start on 11th January.
Indo-French joint exercises commenced in May 1983 and since then have been conducting them regularly. In the current exercise, 300 officers and 3,000 sailors will be participating from both the sides, revealed Rear Admiral R K Patnaik, Flag Commanding Officer of the Western Fleet of Indian Navy.