France has deployed the Horizon-class air defense destroyer FNS Chevalier Paul in the Indian Ocean as part of France’s permanent military presence in the region.
The French government said the destroyer is currently making a stopover in Mumbai and will later sail to Kochi as part of indo-french naval cooperation.
Captain Antoine Vibert, Commander of Chevalier Paul, told WION that a multipurpose destroyer specializing in air defense. It protects high-value units from any threat.
The main mission of the destroyer is “the escort and protection” of a Carrier Strike Group. It can also be deployed for a variety of other tasks. The destroyer has a crew of 215, 15 percent of whom are women.
Vibert adds that France still deploys a frigate or destroyer in the Indian Ocean while adding that France has many strategic interests in the Indian Ocean and that it wants to protect them.
In April, India and France had organized the bilateral exercise “Varuna” with military exercises in the Arabian Sea. French Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier had taken place in the exercise.
India had also taken place in the “La Pérouse” led by the French naval exercise which included navies from Australia, the United States and Japan.
The destroyer Chevalier Paul had participated in an Indo-French air and naval exercise off the coast of Maharashtra. Indian and French forces had deployed planes including the Mirage 2000 and Gust as the two sides pitted the pilots against each other in complex aerial attacks and defense scenarios.