Bastille Day parade in Paris, France

July 08: The Indian Navy Marching Contingent, as part of the Tri services contingent, arrived in France for participation in the Bastille Day Parade in Paris on 14 Jul 23. The Navy team on parade will comprise four officers and 64 sailors. The contingent will be led by Cdr Vrat Baghel. The officer is a specialist in Gunnery and Missile Warfare and has sailed on the French Ship BCR Var during exercise Varuna. He will be followed by his deputies, Lt Cdr Disha Amrith (who led the Indian Navy Contingent at the RD Parade 2023), Lt Cdr Rajat Tripathi and Lt Cdr Jittin Lalitha Dharmaraj.

To commemorate the event, the Indian Navy will also be represented by INS Chennai, an indigenously built frontline destroyer, which will be deployed to France from 12 – 16 Jul 23. The ship’s crew will represent India at the Bastille Day celebrations at Brest, France.

​Indian Navy is amongst the largest Navies in the world with a potent mix of ships, submarines and aircraft. Its motto in Sanskrit ‘Sam No Varunah’ (meaning May the lord of oceans be auspicious unto us) has been taken from Rig Veda which dates back to 1500 BC. The Navy is a ‘Combat ReadyCredibleCohesive and Future Proof Force’ which is manned by a highly skilled and professional workforce.

India’s shipbuilding prowess has immensely contributed to the Indian Navy’s coming of age and rapid modernisation. Today, the country’s shipyards are building all types of vessels and it is a matter of great pride that India belongs to a very small group of select and elite countries that has built and operates its own aircraft carrier, destroyers, frigates and nuclear submarines. INS Chennai embodies the cutting edge of indigenous technology.

This year marks a quarter century of Indo-French Strategic partnership. The two countries enjoy deep ties in the maritime domain which extend to their navies as well. Indigenous construction of the Project 75 Scorpene class submarines by M/s Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited in collaboration with M/s Naval Group, France, has not only enhanced Naval capability but has also paved the way for future programmes.

​The Bilateral exercise (Varuna) between the two navies has matured into a complex exercise involving all domains of Naval power. It reflects the growth of India – France’s strategic bilateral relationship.  The exercise was initiated in 1993 and christened ‘Varuna’ in 2001. The 21st edition of Varuna was conducted on Jan 23 in the Arabian Sea. 

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