New Delhi: Strengthening their strategic maritime cooperation, India and France concluded the 20th edition of bilateral naval exercise ‘Varuna-2022 on 3rd April, the Ministry of Defence said today.
The exercise this year had an expanded scope covering a broad spectrum of maritime operations including advanced anti-submarine warfare tactics, gunnery shoots, seamanship evolutions, tactical manoeuvres and extensive air operations.
The navies also undertook cross deck landings by integral helicopters, showcasing a high level of interoperability between them. Gun firing and underway replenishment procedures were also exercised between ships, the Ministry said.
The final phase of the exercise progressed with tapered focus on advanced anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercises. INS Chennai with Sea King Mk 42B, maritime patrol aircraft P8i, French Navy frigate FS Courbet, support vessel FS Loire, and other units exercised on full spectrum of ASW operations.
The later part of the exercise also included exchange of sea-riders at sea, the statement added.
The exercise concluded with cross visits of personnel, cross embarkation of sea riders and a closing session. Participants and operations teams of Participating units met onboard INS Chennai for a comprehensive debrief.
All evolutions conducted at sea were discussed with options for possible inclusions in future editions of the exercise. After debriefing, the culmination of the exercise was marked by the traditional steam past between ships of both navies.
INS Chennai passed the column of French warships at close range with personnel biding each other favourable winds and following seas for the journey ahead.
Seamless coordination, precise execution of manoeuvres, and clockwork execution of complex anti-submarine warfare exercises characterized the conduct of Varuna-2022. All operational objectives of the exercise were accomplished by the participants in full measure.