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Navies of India and France recently took part in a joint exercise aimed at enhancing interoperability between the two navies.
This was the first time in seven years that the annual bilateral exercise, Varuna, was held outside Indian waters off the coast of Brittany from June 27 to July 4Brittany occupies a large peninsula in the northwest of France, lying between the English Channel to the north and the Bay of Biscay to the south.
The decision to hold Varuna outside Indian waters was taken as a part of the Indian Task Force's deployment to Europe from May to July 2009.
The exercise involved many assets from the two nations. On the Indian side, the task force comprised the destroyer Delhi, the frigates Brahmaputra and Beas, and the replenishment ship Aditya and their integral helicopters.The French contribution comprised assets placed under CECLANT's command (the Admiral Commanding Atlantic Ocean Zone), notably the destroyer Primauguet with a helicopter, the frigate Lieutenant de Vaisseau Le Hanaff and the nuclear-powered attack submarine Emeraude.
Several French aircraft also took part in the exercise, including maritime patrol and navy's fighters.
The naval partnership between the two nations is based on a comprehensive defence agreement signed by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and French President Nicholas Sarkozy in 2006.