Exercise VARUNA 2021:
The 19th edition of the Indian and French Navy bilateral exercise ‘VARUNA-2021’ is being conducted in the Arabian Sea.
- Earlier this year, the Indian Navy took part for the first time in the France-led naval exercise “La Pérouse” with the navies of the US, Australia, and Japan.
About the Exercise:
- The Indian and French Navies have been conducting bilateral maritime exercises since 1993. Since 2001, these exercises have been called ‘VARUNA’.
- These interactions further underscore the shared values as partner navies, in ensuring freedom of seas and commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order.
- This is the first time that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is participating in the Varuna maritime exercise.
- The ‘Varuna’ joint exercise is part of the French carrier strike group’s ‘CLEMENCEAU 21’ deployment, which the French Navy is conducting in the eastern Mediterranean, the Gulf, and the Indian Ocean (Arabian Sea).
- Its goal is to contribute to the stabilization of these strategic zones and strengthening cooperation with the navies of partner countries, in particular India for the Indian Ocean component.
- As part of this deployment, the Carrier Strike Group is also taking part in anti-ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) operations.
- The exercise will see high tempo-naval operations at sea, including advanced air defense and anti-submarine exercises, tactical maneuvers, underway replenishment, and other maritime security operations.