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 Améthyste. 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.