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India, France, UAE To Test Combat Skills At Varuna Naval Exercise

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Indian Navy warships will join the French flagship Charles de Gaulle carrier aircraft carrier along with United Arab Emirates (UAE) Navy for the three-day Varuna trilateral exercise to jointly test combat skills and war game in the Persian Gulf area starting April 25, people familiar with the matter said.

This is the first time that the UAE is participating in the Varuna maritime exercise. India and France have been holding the exercise since 1993; it was christened Varuna in 2001.

Officials said the Indian Navy’s sole aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya would not join the exercise since it is under maintenance. But the Indian Navy’s participation will seek to make up for INS Vikramaditya’s absence by sending two to three destroyers (possibly led by INS Kolkata, the lead ship of the navy’s Kolkata-class stealth guided-missile destroyers) and frigates, an attack submarine, a P-8I maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft. The Charles de Gaulle carrier strike force comprises two frigates and a replenishment tanker.

The French aircraft carrier and its strike group have been in the neighbourhood for weeks; Charles de Gaulle arrived in the Arabian Sea in mid-March for operations relating to Afghanistan and has held dual operations with the United States aircraft supercarrier Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group. According to the two navies, the two strike groups, which are conducting dual operations, are cooperating at levels of integration that has been “rarely achieved in the past”.

Indian Navy warships will join the French flagship Charles de Gaulle carrier aircraft carrier along with United Arab Emirates (UAE) Navy for the three-day Varuna trilateral exercise to jointly test combat skills and war game in the Persian Gulf area starting April 25, people familiar with the matter said.

This is the first time that the UAE is participating in the Varuna maritime exercise. India and France have been holding the exercise since 1993; it was christened Varuna in 2001.

Officials said the Indian Navy’s sole aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya would not join the exercise since it is under maintenance. But the Indian Navy’s participation will seek to make up for INS Vikramaditya’s absence by sending two to three destroyers (possibly led by INS Kolkata, the lead ship of the navy’s Kolkata-class stealth guided-missile destroyers) and frigates, an attack submarine, a P-8I maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft. The Charles de Gaulle carrier strike force comprises two frigates and a replenishment tanker.

The French aircraft carrier and its strike group have been in the neighbourhood for weeks; Charles de Gaulle arrived in the Arabian Sea in mid-March for operations relating to Afghanistan and has held dual operations with the United States aircraft supercarrier Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group. According to the two navies, the two strike groups, which are conducting dual operations, are cooperating at levels of integration that has been “rarely achieved in the past”.

Courtesy – Hindustan Times

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