The history of Indian and French Navies conducting maritime exercises goes back to decades. It started in 1993 and has been continuing since then bringing the two countries together in combating security challenges. In 2001, these maritime exercises were called ''VARUNA''. With a year since the 17th edition of VARUNA completing on 7th May 2020, the countries reiterate mutual support in dealing with all kinds of challenges.
On 7th May 2019, the Navies of India and France kicked off a huge maritime exercise off the coast of Goa. While India had INS Vikramaditya, INS Mumbai, INS Tarkash, INS Shankul, and INS Deepak to participate, France had a nuclear submarine, FNS Marne, FNS Latouche- Treville, FNS Provenance and FNS Forbin to conduct the exercise.
At the completion of a year, France calls the exercise of an ''unprecedented scale''. ''A year ago, on 7th May 2019, the 17th edition of Varuna, the Indo-French naval exercise, was kicked off on an unprecedented scale. Twelve vessels were involved in the tri-dimensional air, surface and underwater drills. Reaching a decisive phase in interoperability, it heralded a joint maritime surveillance mission to be conducted in the French Exclusive Economic Zone in February 2020 with an Indian patrol aircraft and a French surveillance frigate'' read a statement from the Embassy.
The conduct of such practise operation is aimed to help the two Navies develop a strong understanding between each other while they get to learn the best of their practices. As the combat tactics are different for different aircraft, a joint session equips both the sides. Apart from it, professional interactions between the officials are organised so they could stand united when required. While both the countries are fighting Coronavirus, the Navies of India and France are ''fully engaged'' and ready to aid people.
''During this period of public health crisis, the Indian and the French navies are fully engaged in the Samudra Setu and Resilience operations respectively to aid people facing the ordeal of the COVID-19 epidemic. In 2020, the two navies continue to maintain their cooperation efforts, which are a cornerstone of the strategic partnership between France and India'', read the statement from the Embassy of France in India.