Foreign Policy Watch: India-France

Foreign Policy Watch: India-France

[pib] Exercise VARUNA-2021

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : VARUNA-21

Mains level : Paper 2- VARUNA-21

Details of the exercise

  • The 19th edition of the Indian and French Navy bilateral exercise ‘VARUNA-2021’ is scheduled to be conducted in the Arabian Sea from 25th to 27th April 2021.
  • The exercise will see high tempo-naval operations at sea, including advanced air defence and anti-submarine exercises, intense fixed and rotary wing flying operations, tactical manoeuvres, surface and anti-air weapon firings, underway replenishment and other maritime security operations.
  • Units of both navies will endeavour to enhance and hone their war-fighting skills to demonstrate their ability as an integrated force to promote peace, security and stability in the maritime domain.
  • On completion of exercise VARUNA-21, to consolidate accrued best practices and enhance interoperability, Indian Navy’s guided-missile frigate INS Tarkash will continue to exercise with the French Navy’s Carrier Strike Group (CSG) from 28th April to 1st May 2021.
  • During this period, the ship will take part in advanced surface, anti-submarine and air-defence operations with the French CSG.

Significance of exercise

  • VARUNA-21 highlights growing bonhomie and showcases increased levels of synergy, coordination and inter-operability between the two friendly navies.
  • These interactions further underscore the shared values as partner navies, in ensuring freedom of seas and commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order.

Foreign Policy Watch: India-France

[op-ed of the day] In defence of a shared vision

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much.

Mains level : Paper 3- India-France relations

Context

Defence cooperation has been one of the fundamentals of the bilateral relationship between India and France, which developed a close and ambitious strategic partnership for over 20 years.

Defence cooperation between France and India

  • A long history of cooperation: The defence cooperation between our two countries can be traced back to the first few years following India’s Independence.
    • As early as 1953, the Indian Air Force was equipped with a hundred Toofani fighter jets from Dassault, then the Mystère IV, which defended India in tough times.
  • This marked the first page in the history of cooperation in military aviation, which also recorded the supply of 60 Mirage 2000s in the 1980s.
  • Rafale deal: The ongoing delivery of 36 Rafales is being done as per the schedule.
    • The first batch of aircraft, currently being used to train Indian pilots, will land at Air Force Station Ambala within a few months.
  • Partnership in maritime domain: Today, the partnership has been deployed in the maritime domain, in support of our joint strategic vision for the maintenance of stability and security in the Indo-Pacific.
    • As far as naval equipment is concerned, the Indian Navy has already commissioned two of the six submarines built in Mumbai as part of an industrial partnership between Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and Naval Group.

Industrial cooperation between the two countries

  • Support to indigenous production: As for industrial cooperation, the French approach has always been, whenever possible, to offer partial indigenous production in India.
    • France was largely a precursor with regard to Make in India, with HAL manufacturing the light helicopters Cheetah and Chetak, and BDL’s Milan anti-tank missile in India in the 1960s.
    • It continues this policy today. The plant built under the Dassault Aviation and Reliance joint venture will enable, for example, the complete production of the Falcon 2000 business jet here in India by 2022.
  • Transfer of technology: After the delivery of the first two Scorpene submarines, transfers of technology provided by the Naval Group enabled MDL to be solely in charge of building the next four submarines.
    • The design of these submarines has thus become largely Indian knowhow.
    • Safran will soon inaugurate an aircraft wiring systems factory in Hyderabad and also build another major facility to manufacture LEAP turbofan engine components.
    • Thales is investing massively in engineering works in Bengaluru, MBDA is building a plant in Coimbatore and French aeronautical equipment manufacturer Latécoère recently inaugurated a factory in Belgaum.

Opportunities for further cooperation

  • Developing the supply chain at all the levels: The French aerospace industries association, GIFAS, and GICAN, the French Marine Industry Group, are organising a seminar focused on this subject during DefExpo.
    • Along with the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), they are exploring opportunities for developing Indo-French industrial partnerships at all stages of the production chain.
    • Promoting Make in India: India can count on France being by its side for its Make in India enterprise.

Conclusion

India and France both share the same vision for a new balanced multipolar world, which must be based on the rule of law. They also share the same vision on the main challenges of the times, be they security developments in Asia and the Indo-Pacific, or combating international terrorism. But it is by possessing the capability of ensuring national security and making strategic choices that most efficiently defend their shared principles and visions.

 

 

Foreign Policy Watch: India-France

[pib] Exercise Shakti-2019

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Exercise SHAKTI

Mains level : India-France strategic relations

 

What is the news: As part of Exercise SHAKTI – 2019,  French Army troops have arrived in India.

Exercise SHAKTI

  • Series of  ‘Exercise SHAKTI’ between India and France commenced in year 2011.
  • Its a biennial exercise and is conducted alternately in India and France.
  • The exercise will focus on Counter Terrorism operations in backdrop of semi-desert terrain under United Nations Mandate.
  • The training will focus primarily on high degree of physical fitness, sharing of the drill at tactical level and learning of best practices from each other.
  • The exercise aims at enhancing understanding, cooperation and interoperability between the two Armies.
  • The exercise will culminate in a 36 hrs long validation exercise which will involve neutralization of terrorists in a village hideout.

Foreign Policy Watch: India-France

[pib] Exercise Varuna 19.1

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the Exercise

Mains level : Not Much

  • The first part of the Indo-French joint naval exercise, Varuna 19.1 is being held off the Goa coast.

Exercise Varuna 19.1

  • The bilateral naval exercise initiated in 1983 and christened as ‘Varuna’ in 2001, form a vital part of the Indo-French strategic partnership.
  • Having grown in scope and complexity over the years, this exercise exemplifies the strong relations between the two nations, in line with the Joint Strategic Vision of India-French Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • The Varuna exercise aims at developing interoperability between the two navies and fostering mutual cooperation by learning from each other’s best practices to conduct joint operations.
  • The exercise underscores the shared interests and commitment of both nations in promoting maritime security.
  • The second part, Varuna 19.2, is scheduled to be held at the end of May in Djibouti.
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