In the Indian Navy in April 2021, participated for the first time in the La Perouse Exercise which is led by the French Navy, off the shores of France. The exercise has been named after the French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville who in 1767 became the first European to cross the Pacific Ocean from east to west.
La Perouse Exercise - Overview
La Perouse Exercise is a multilateral naval exercise aimed at improving interoperability between navies and fostering mutual understanding and cooperation between participating nations.
The exercise provides an excellent platform for participating nations to hone their operational and tactical skills in a multinational environment, better understand each other's maritime methodologies and enhance their ability to operate together. The exercise also aims at deepening military-to-military relations between India and France, Russia and the United States.
La Perouse Exercise 2021
La Perouse Joint Exercise 2021 (LPJE 2021) was held in the Mediterranean Sea from the 5th to the 7th of April. The objective of the exercise was to enhance maritime cooperation between participating nations and foster mutual understanding and cooperation between participants to develop and maintain common maritime strategies, principles of operation and doctrines of operation.
The Indian Navy played an active role in the exercise being led by the French Naval Command. The aim of India's participation was to enhance interoperability with other naval forces in different modes of operations that involve joint exercises, and bilateral/multilateral field training/exercises besides sharing best practices and disseminating ideas for a common maritime strategy.
The Indian Navy was represented by INS Shivalik, a guided missile stealth frigate, INS Kamorta and INS Kadmatt, a Sindhughosh class submarine. The Ships from India, Russia and USA were put up in the French naval base located in Toulon.
The allied ships also engaged in networking exercises at sea to share information and best practices. Indian Navy ships attached to the Eastern Fleet after crossing the International Date Line (IDL) on their return leg from the Malabar Exercise took part in LPJE 2021.
La Perouse Exercise - Significance of Indo-Pacific
The Indo-Pacific region is strategically significant for the U.S., China and other countries which have invested a lot in it. The maritime strategy of the U.S intends to build a network of ports, airports and military bases to ally with allies in the Indo-Pacific region for the purpose of projecting its power in the Asia Pacific and protecting vital sea lanes of communication (SLOC).
The Indian Navy will be visiting South Africa in April 2022 for a bilateral Exercise with the South African Navy. Indian Navy ships attached to NS Shivalik/Kamorta are scheduled to visit Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Durban, East London and Mossel Bay on their way back home thus making a triangular voyage across Africa.
☛ Also Read: Current Affairs Today
The Indian Navy has a global presence with two strike fleets and two anti-submarine warfare (ASW) fleets operating in the Indo-Pacific, Western and Eastern seaboards of India. The Indian Navy has on several occasions, been involved in the rescue of Indians from countries in the Middle East, who were affected by civil unrest.
Indian Navy's Expeditionary capabilities are also increasing steadily with each passing day as it increases its presence around the globe. La Perouse Exercise 2021 was held in April off the coast of France involving ships from the US, Russia, France and India.
A significant number of exercises over the years have been conducted and it is a step towards strengthening the long-standing maritime relationship between India and France. In fact, India has a keen interest in securing its economic lifelines in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and an equally important interest in pursuing freedom of navigation, which might have necessitated the need for India to enhance maritime cooperation between participating nations.
FAQs on La Perouse Exercise
Q1: What is the objective of the La Perouse Exercise?
Ans: The key objective of the La Perouse Exercise is to enhance maritime cooperation between participants to develop and maintain common maritime strategies, principles of operation, and doctrines of operation.
Q2: Which Indian Navy Ships participated in the La Perouse Exercise 2021?
Ans: INS Shivalik, a guided missile stealth frigate, INS Kamorta, and INS Kadmatt, a Sindhughosh class submarine participated in La Perouse Exercise.
Q3: What was the duration of the La Perouse Exercise 2021?
Ans: The La Perouse Exercise was held from 5th April to 7th April in 2021.
Q4: Where was the La Perouse exercise 2021 held?
Ans: The La Perouse Exercise was held off the shores of France.
Q5: What was the aim of India's participation in the La Perouse Exercise?
Ans: The aim of India's participation in the La Perouse Exercise was to enhance interoperability with other Naval forces in different modes of operations that involve joint exercises, and bilateral/multilateral field training/exercises besides sharing best practices and disseminating ideas for a common maritime strategy.