Varuna 2023: India-France Bilateral Naval Exercise

The 21st edition of the bilateral naval exercise between India and France, Exercise Varuna, has begun on the Western Seaboard on January 16th, 2023.

Key Points

  • The bilateral exercise, which was initiated in 1993, was named ‘Varuna’ in 2001 and has become a defining feature of the India-France strategic bilateral relationship.
  • This edition of the exercise will see the participation of the Indian Navy’s indigenous guided missile stealth destroyer INS Chennai, guided missile frigate INS Teg, maritime patrol aircraft P-8I and Dornier, integral helicopters, and MiG29K fighter aircraft.
  • The French Navy will be represented by the aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle, frigates FS Forbin and Provence, support vessel FS Marne, and maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique.

Importance of the Exercise

  • The exercise will take place over five days, from January 16th to 20th, 2023, and will involve advanced air defense exercises, tactical maneuvers, surface firings, underway replenishment, and other maritime operations.
  • Exercise Varuna plays a critical role in strengthening the strategic partnership between India and France, and in enhancing the interoperability and understanding between the two navies. It also serves as an opportunity for both countries to demonstrate their commitment to regional peace, security, and stability.
  • The exercise also enables the Indian Navy to learn from the French Navy’s advanced capabilities and technologies and to improve its own maritime capabilities.



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