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French navy joins the Quad nations to undertake joint naval exercises off Bay of Bengal

The France-organized multination three-day Le Pérouse naval exercise commenced in the Bay of Bengal on April 5, with the participation of the Quad nations. Indian Navy is fielding the Shivalik-class stealth frigate INS Satpura along with its integral helicopter and anti-submarine warfare stealth corvette INS Kiltan, besides P8I maritime patrol aircraft according to a defence magazine.

“The exercise La Pérouse, led by French Navy, has participation by FN [French Navy] Ships Tonnerre, an amphibious assault ship and frigate Surcouf. United States Navy is represented in the exercise by amphibious transport dock ship Somerset. Her Majesty’s Australian Ships (HMAS) Anzac, a frigate and tanker Sirius have been deployed by RAN [Royal Australian Navy] for participation in the exercise while Japan Maritime Self Defence Ship (JMSDF) is represented by the destroyer Akebono,” the statement noted.

“Exercise La Pérouse will witness complex and advanced naval operations including surface warfare, anti-air warfare and air defense exercises, weapon firing exercises, cross deck flying operations, tactical maneuvers and seamanship evolutions such as replenishment at sea,” it added.

Exercise La Perouse demonstrates our shared commitment to a stable and secure Indo-Pacific

Australian Minister for Defense Peter Dutton was quoted as saying, “Exercise La Perouse will also demonstrate the complementary capability of our partner nations and highlight our shared commitment to a stable and secure Indo-Pacific.” Two hundred and sixty Royal Australian Navy personnel will be taking part in the exercise.

Last year’s La Pérouse exercise in the Bay of Bengal brought together the Australian, Japanese, and U.S. navies alongside the French. The 2020 edition saw the participation of France’s sole nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, while Japan fielded its helicopter carrier JS Izumo. 

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