PARIS – FRANCE: The Indian Navy’s marching contingent has arrived in France as part of the Tri-services contingent to participate in the prestigious Bastille Day Parade on July 14, 2023. The contingent, consisting of four officers and 64 sailors, will showcase their discipline and precision during the parade, representing the Indian Navy with pride.
Leading the contingent will be Commander Vrat Baghel, a specialist in Gunnery and Missile Warfare who has previously sailed on the French Ship BCR Var during the Varuna exercise. Assisting him will be Lieutenant Commander Disha Amrith, who previously led the Indian Navy Contingent at the RD Parade 2023, as well as Lieutenant Commander Rajat Tripathi and Lieutenant Commander Jittin Lalitha Dharmaraj.
In addition to the marching contingent, the Indian Navy will also be represented by INS Chennai, an indigenously built frontline destroyer. INS Chennai will be deployed to France from July 12 to July 16, 2023, and its crew will proudly represent India at the Bastille Day celebrations in Brest, France.
The Indian Navy is one of the world’s largest navies, boasting a formidable fleet of ships, submarines, and aircraft. With its motto “Sam No Varunah” (meaning “May the lord of oceans be auspicious unto us”) derived from the Rig Veda dating back to 1500 BC, the Indian Navy remains committed to its role as a combat-ready, credible, cohesive, and future-proof force, manned by highly skilled and professional personnel.
India’s shipbuilding prowess has played a vital role in the modernization of the Indian Navy. Today, Indian shipyards are capable of constructing various types of vessels, including aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates, and nuclear submarines. INS Chennai, an epitome of cutting-edge indigenous technology, represents the nation’s remarkable achievements in shipbuilding.
This year holds special significance as it marks the 25th anniversary of the Indo-French Strategic Partnership. The maritime domain has been a cornerstone of the deep ties between India and France, extending to their respective navies. The indigenous construction of the Project 75 Scorpene class submarines by M/s Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited in collaboration with M/s Naval Group, France, has not only bolstered the Indian Navy’s capabilities but also paved the way for future collaborations.
The bilateral naval exercise, Varuna, between India and France has evolved into a comprehensive exercise encompassing all domains of naval power. It serves as a testament to the growing strategic relationship between the two nations. Initiated in 1993 and named ‘Varuna’ in 2001, the 21st edition of the exercise took place in the Arabian Sea in January 2023.
The participation of the Indian Navy’s marching contingent and INS Chennai in the Bastille Day Parade and celebrations further strengthens the bonds of friendship and cooperation between India and France, showcasing the commitment of both nations towards maintaining peace, stability, and maritime security.