French naval vessels arrive in Kochi on 5-day visit | india | Hindustan Times
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French naval vessels arrive in Kochi on 5-day visit

india Updated: Jan 28, 2009 21:46 IST

Two French naval ships -- Jeanne d' Arc, a helicopter carrier and Georges Leygues, Georges Leygues,-- arrived in Kochi on Wednesday on a five-day goodwill visit after holding joint naval exercises with Indian warship INS Trishul.

Talking to reporters on board the Jeanne d' Arc, Herve Blejean, Captain of the vessel, lauded the crew of INS Trishul and said he was "inspired by the scale of the ship". The exercise was conducted in a professional manner, he said.

There was exchange of officers and helicopters and crew also visited each others ships.

French Ambassador to India, Jerome Bonnafont, who received the ships here and Commander Thierry Catard, captain of Georges Leygues, were also present. The exercises were conducted in the Arabian sea on January 26.

The Ambassador along with the captains of the two vessels are likely to call on Flag Officer Commanding in Chief of the Southern Naval command (SNC) Vice Admiral S K Damle. The French naval personnel will also visit various establishments of the SNC.

The last port of call of the vessels was Abu Dhabi and they will leave for Singapore on Feb 2.

Nicknamed 'Old Lady', Jeanne d' Arc was commissioned in 1964 and is the third vessel of the French Navy named after the national heroine of France, Jeanne d Arc, who played a major role in repelling the English invasion during the 100 year war. The vessel is 182 metres long with a draught of 7.5 metres.

Georges Leygues, commissioned in 1979, is a class of anti-submarine frigates of the French navy. It is 139 metres long with a draught of 5.7 metres. Leygues is the lead ship of F-70 type anti-submarine frigate of the French navy.