India – France maritime partnership exercise off Visakhapatnam

July 03: Indian Naval ships INS Rana, a guided missile destroyer, and INS Sumedha, an indigenously built offshore patrol vessel undertook a Maritime Partnership Exercise (MPX) with French Navy ship FS Surcouf, in the Bay of Bengal on 30 June 2023. The French Navy’s La Fayette class frigate Surcouf visited Visakhapatnam from 26 – 29 June 2023 and participated in a variety of activities with Indian Navy ships which included professional and social interactions, sports fixtures and cross-deck visits.

On departure from Visakhapatnam, FS Surcouf undertook various exercises with IN ships Rana and Sumedha, which included tactical manoeuvres, replenishment at sea (RAS) approaches, air defence against fighter aircraft and cross-deck helicopter operations. The MPX culminated with a customary farewell steam past between the ships reaffirming the close friendship between the two navies. The visit of FS Surcouf to India signifies the strong navy-to-navy links, interoperability and strong bonds between Indian Navy and French Navy.

Earlier, this year, FS La Fayette, a frigate and FS Dixmude, a Mistral-class amphibious assault class ship had participated in an MPX with INS Sahyadri, a guided missile frigate from 10 – 11 March 2023.

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