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French frigate leaves India after 12-day engagement with Indian Navy

NEW DELHI (PTI): Horizon-class French frigate FS Chevalier Paul has departed India after concluding a 12-day-long extensive engagement with the Indian Navy, officials have said.

The warship was part of a maritime partnership exercise with the Indian Naval Ship Kolkata in the Arabian Sea besides undertaking port calls at Mumbai and Kochi.

The exercise also involved the participation of a maritime patrol aircraft and MiG 29K fighter aircraft from the Indian side, Indian Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said.

The French ship left the Kochi harbour on Tuesday.

"The exercise was aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving understanding and exchanging best practices between the two navies," he said.

"Advanced coordinated anti-submarine warfare exercises, surface and anti-air exercises including weapon firings, seamanship exercises, naval manoeuvres and cross deck flying operations were undertaken during the exercise," the official said.

The navies of the two countries have been undertaking bilateral as well as multilateral maritime engagements on a regular basis.

"This year alone the two navies have undertaken five Maritime engagements including major exercises such as VARUNA-21 and multilateral exercise La Perouse," Commander Madhwal said.

He said the recent interactions highlight the synergy, coordination and interoperability 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," he added.

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