May 3, 2015 2:08:58 am
After a 10-day study of joint maritime operations, India and French navies concluded exercise Varuna off the Goa coast on Saturday.
The 14th edition of the exercise witnessed the role of the French Rafale-M fighter jet, the air force version of which has been chosen by the government for the Indian Air Force.
The French Navy was represented by Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle, two destroyers Chevalier Paul and Jean de Vienne, replenishment tanker Meuse and a maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique 2. The Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle was carrying its complement of fighter aircraft Rafale M, Strike Aircraft Super Etendard, E2C Hawkeye AWACS and helicopters Dauphin and Alouette 3.
From the Indian side Aircraft Carrier INS Viraat, destroyer Mumbai, stealth frigate Tarkash, guided missile frigate Gomati, replenishment tanker Deepak, submarine Shankul and a few Fast Attack Craft participated.
Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and French ambassador François Richier embarked on the French Navy’s Aircraft Carrier, Charles de Gaulle, on the final day of the exercise.
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