The 17th edition of Varuna, an Indo-French naval exercise, currently on off Goa coast, is the largest joint exercise undertaken by the two Navies and represents the strengthened maritime co-operation between India and France, said statements released by both Navies in Goa on Monday.
The statements, released at a press conference on board INS Mumbai, said that the harbour and sea phases of the exercise from May 1 to May 6 and from May 7 to May 10, respectively, are aimed at honing skills for naval operations across the broad spectrum, with an increased focus on tactical scenarios.
The second sea phase is scheduled to be held at the end of May in Djibouti, located on the Horn of Africa.
“It will be the largest ever conducted Varuna exercise with 11 of India and Frances’s most modern units, including two aircraft and two submarines,” statement of the French Navy said.
Meanwhile, Indian Navy’s stealth Scorpene class Submarine Vela of Project 75 was launched in Mumbai on Monday at the Kanhoji Angre Wet Basin of Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).
The submarine, built at MDL with the main collaborator being M/s Naval group, France, is set to commence sea trials soon.
Secretary (Defence Production) Ajay Kumar was the chief guest for the ceremony and Veena Ajay Kumar was the lady dignitary who performed the ceremony. “The submarine has been named Vela after an earlier submarine, which was the lead submarine, of the erstwhile Vela class, the second batch of the Foxtrot class submarines acquired from USSR,” said a statement.