Largest Indo-French Naval Exercise Yet From Tomorrow

Exercise Varuna 2011, starting tomorrow in the Arabian Sea off Goa, is a major part of the French Navy's Agapanthe 2010 deployment. This bilateral exercise will involve nine ships, including two aircraft carriers: INS Viraat (with Sea Harriers and Seaking) and FS Charles De Gaulle (strike group composed of E2C, Rafale and SEM).

The 7 other units are the following: Indian frigates INS Godavari and INS Ganga, Class-209 submarine INS Shalki, French destroyers FS Forbin and FS Tourville, fleet tanker FS Meuse and nuclear submarine FS Am├ęthyste. Shorebased maritime patrol aircraft will also participate in the exercise.

Exercise Varuna will start with a harbour phase in Mormugao (7-10 January), followed by a phase at sea (11-14 January). The phase off Goa includes air operations, submarine exercises, surface exercises as well as replenishment at sea.

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