Fourteenth (14th) edition of Indo-French naval exercise (VARUNA) started with the arrival of four French naval ships at Goa today.
Representing the French Navy is Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle, two destroyers Chevalier Paul and Jean de Vienne, replenishment tanker Meuse and a maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique 2. The Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle is carrying its complement of fighter aircraft Rafale M, Strike Aircraft Super Etendard, E2C Hawkeye AWACS and helicopters Dauphin and Alouette 3.
Aircraft Carrier INS Viraat, destroyer Mumbai, stealth frigate Tarkash, guided missile frigate Gomati, replenishment tanker Deepak, submarine Shankul and a few Fast Attack Craft are participating from the Indian side. Aviation assets of the Indian Navy participating in VARUNA-15 include carrier-borne fighter aircraft Sea Harriers, maritime reconnaissance aircraft P-8 I and Dorniers along with integral helicopters Seaking 42B and Chetak.
The scope of Exercise VARUNA includes the entire gamut of maritime operations from Aircraft Carrier Operations, Anti Submarines Warfare Exercises, Maritime Interdiction Operations to multi-ship replenishment exercise.
VARUNA-15 is scheduled from 23 Apr 15 to 02 May 15 off Goa and is aimed at further strengthening bilateral ties between India and France.
Image: Indian Navy