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Indian Navy joins French ‘La Perouse’ naval exercise for the first time

Ships from the Indian Navy, Royal Australian Navy, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force approach USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) during Malabar 2020. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Markus Castaneda/U.S. Navy)
April 05, 2021

Broadening the sphere of cooperation with western navies in an effort to strengthen the ties in maritime security issues, the Indian Navy is joining the French Navy in their traditional “LA Perouse” multilateral naval wargames for the first time.

The exercise is held in the Bay of Bengal from April 5 to April 7 and is a major step forward as Indian ambition in deep seas mark a significant new chapter with this exercise. QUAD members like the USA, Japan and Australia will be joining the exercise, as well, making it the first massive naval drill of its kind.

These wargames will be followed by another important naval exercise hailed as ‘Varuna’, which normally takes place annually between India and France. For the first time, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will participate in the vibrant drill this year. The exercise will take place in the last week of April in the Western Indian Ocean near the Arabian Sea. India holds prominent naval influence over the Indian Ocean.

The Indian Navy has a rich history of conducting crucial naval exercises with many great navies all around the world. Nations like the US, Russia, France, UK, Singapore, Japan and Australia have had a positive experience with Indian naval forces. The interoperability between such diverse forces represents how the blue water navy has been empowered by the Indian Navy for decades.

Through such drills, India is not only improving its interoperability between friendly navies, but also focusing on strengthening mutual confidence between forces, developing standard procedures to sync within the functioning, and enhancing overall maritime security to make freedom of navigation more efficient in those waters. So far, the Indian Navy has participated in 13 Naval exercises.