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India France bilateral naval exercise Varuna

News actualites aeromorning

2023 may help Indian Navy assess potential carrier-borne aircraft capability

Following the news that India and France are conducting the 21st edition of Bilateral Naval Exercise Varuna – 2023;

Tushar Mangure, Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“The participation of naval platforms and aircraft from both the navies signifies the high level of co-operation and intent to enhance the interoperability and war-fighting proficiencies in the maritime domain. It will also enable the navies to refine their tactics to counter the evolving conventional and asymmetric threats in the region. Considering the involvement of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, guided missile destroyers and frigates, along with Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPAs), there seems to be high priority assigned for undertaking simulated network-centric aerial assaults and air defense missions.

“Indian naval aviators will also be able to obtain the first-hand experience on Rafale-M jets during the exercise. Due to the higher degree of systems and weapons commonality between Rafale’s air force and naval variants, there seems to be a natural tilt towards its procurement for the Indian Navy’s combat aircraft requirement. With the recent test highlighting its capability to fly from a CATOBAR carrier.

“The investments made by the Indian Air Force towards the integration of several India Specific Enhancements (ISE) as part of their Rafale purchase may also be replicated in the proposed naval variant. The procurement of new naval jets was also driven by the operational deficiencies and design issues with the navy’s fleet of Mig-29K aircraft. Even though several spares of the Mig-29K are now being locally manufactured in India, there is a significant reliance on the Russian suppliers for some key components. Due to the sanctions imposed on Russian defense equipment the operational issues with the Mig-29K are expected to persist in the near future.”

About GlobalData

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