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French and Indian navies conduct drill off western coast: Officials

MUMBAI (PTI): French air defence frigate Chevalier Paul completed a two-day naval drill with Indian Navy missile destroyer INS Kolkata off India's western coast on Tuesday, French officials said.

The two-day drill, on November 22 and 23, included air defence, anti-submarine warfare (hunting a target with the help of a P8 patrol aircraft) and anti-ship warfare (live firing of shots against a floating target and simulation of coordinating anti-ship missile firing), French officials added.

The two sides also shared a very positive assessment of the results, which confirmed the plug and fight capacity achieved by the two navies, the French officials added.

In a separate statement, the Indian Navy said the French ship arrived at Mumbai on November 18 for a three-day goodwill visit.

It is an advanced air defence frigate in the French Navy based at Toulon in southern France, and was operating in the Indian Ocean Region and arrived at Mumbai from Djibouti after participating in various anti-piracy and anti-smuggling operations, the statement said.

The ship was received by Captain Kartik Srimal, Commanding Officer, INS Mumbai, on behalf of the Western Naval Command.

The Commanding Officer of the visiting ship, along with the French Defence Attach , called on Vice Admiral K Swaminathan, Chief of Staff, Western Naval Command, and discussed operational issues of mutual interest, the statement said.

The visiting ship hosted a reception onboard for Indian Navy personnel and local civilian dignitaries on November 18.

On its part, the Indian Navy extended to the visitors the opportunity for a number of leisure and sports activities, including a much appreciated Indian food festival, a cultural tour of Mumbai, a dinner hosted by the Western Fleet and a friendly football match.

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