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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

India-France naval exercise to focus on mine warfare

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Feb 28, IRNA -- The Indian and French navies would focus on
"mine counter measures" during the nine-day exercise, Varuna 2005/1, 
beginning in the south Indian port of Kochi Monday. 
The two navies regularly conduct the Varuna series of bilateral 
exercises and it is for the first time mine warfare exercises are 
being conducted, the Press Trust of India reported. 
The naval personnel from both countries will devote two days from 
Monday night in the harbor phase for training and professional 
discussions. 
The French Navy Task Group, commanded by Captain Marechal, 
comprises two mine hunting ships, FNS Orion and FNS Aigle, along with 
one mine warfare command ship, FNS Loire, it said. 
Three mine counter measure (MCM) ships, INS Kozhikode, INS 
Cannanore, and INS Cuddalore, will represent the Indian Navy. 
The exercise off the Kochi coast will also include the deployment 
of underwater combined explosive ordnance disposal teams, comprising 
divers from both navies. 
Extensive mine counter measures and diving exercises would be 
practiced during Varuna 2005 to be concluded on March 7. 
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