The French Navy’s amphibious assault helicopter carrier Tonnerre and frigate Surcouf arrived in Kochi on Tuesday ahead of a mega naval exercise involving France and the Quad members.
The ships are on a two-day goodwill visit to Kochi, reflecting the deep military ties between the two nations. These ships will be sailing to the Bay of Bengal on Thursday to participate in the France-led ‘La Perouse’ naval war game from April 5 to 7.
The exercise will also witness the participation of the navies of Quad members, the US, Japan, Australia, and India. The French delegation and the commanding officers of the French naval ships called on Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, Vice Admiral AK Chawla.
“The regular conduct of bilateral exercises, goodwill visits by ships and high-level delegation visits involving both the navies are indicative of growth in mutual cooperation and joint Manship,” said an Indian Navy official.
India has been expanding cooperation with navies of the US, Japan, Australia, and France in the last few years. Such military and naval exercises help to keep a check on China which is trying to dominate the region.