New Delhi [India], March 16: France-led multilateral exercise, La Perouse, enhanced cooperation between partner navies in the Indo-Pacific, according to an official release.
The exercise which was conducted on March 13 and 14, brought together seven nations involved in maritime security in the Indo-Pacific: India, Australia, Canada, the United States, France, Japan and the United Kingdom.
Eight ships and seven aircraft came together in the Bay of Bengal to conduct a series of high-level training exercises to strengthen interoperability between the partner navies. France was represented by the Jeanne d’Arc Group, the official release said.
Navy ships FNS Dixmude and La Fayette, INS Sahyadri, INS Jyoti, USS Charleston, HMS Tamar, HMAS Perth and JS Suzutsuki gathered on the morning of March 13, to start the first manoeuvres together, it said.
They kicked off with replenishment at sea between the INS Jyoti and the HMAS Perth, followed by a gunnery exercise on floating targets in formation.
The next day, the units conducted a simulation of air defence exercises, followed by aviation manoeuvres of increasing complexity between the helicopters and the ships, before concluding with an advanced tactical evolution exercise in formation, under the surveillance of the P8 Indian maritime patrol aircraft. Finally, the commanders of the various ships involved met on board the French Navy’s LHD Dixmude for a review of the exercise, according to the official release.
The eight ships then separated to continue their respective patrols and missions in the Indian Ocean. The Dixmude and the La Fayette are heading for Singapore, the next stage of their circumnavigation, before participating in the major exercise CROIX DU SUD in New Caledonia, and to conduct patrols in France’s Exclusive Economic Zones in the Indo-Pacific, it said.
In the space of 48 hours, about 10 training sequences were carried out, including twenty cross-decks. These numerous sequences enhanced mutual knowledge between our navies, contributing to maintaining international stability based on adherence to international maritime law and safety at sea.
According to the official statement, for five months, the Jeanne d’Arc group will contribute to asserting French sovereignty in its maritime space, and strengthening cooperation with partner nations, while training the French Navy officers of tomorrow.
The JEANNE D’ARC group is composed of the Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) Dixmude and the frigate La Fayette, which can carry nearly 800 sailors and soldiers, including around 160 cadets.
The group also includes an embedded tactical group (GTE) with 150 soldiers and 40 vehicles of the French Army, an amphibious flotilla detachment, an S-100 drone, and a Dauphin helicopter of the French Navy, and two Gazelle helicopters of the French Army. The Dixmude and La Fayette carried out a port call in Kochi early March.