French Navy vice-admiral: India needs nuclear submarines | india | Hindustan Times
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French Navy vice-admiral: India needs nuclear submarines

The Indian Navy is sending four destroyers to Brest in France to participate in the Varuna 2009, an annual naval exercise in June, reports Presley Thomas.

india Updated: Apr 04, 2009 01:22 IST
Presley Thomas

The Indian Navy is sending four destroyers to Brest in France to participate in the Varuna 2009, an annual naval exercise in June.

French Vice-admiral Gerard Valin, commander of the French joint forces in the Indian Ocean, said Varuna 2009 would focus primarily on anti-submarine warfare system.

He was in Mumbai after attending a similar high-level exercise off the Goan coast last week.

Valin said: “The exercise scheduled for June would be interesting as we hope to make available our nuclear submarines and expertise in anti-submarine warfare to our Indian counterparts.”

Valin, who focuses on tackling the problem of piracy in the Indian Ocean — specifically near the Gulf of Aden and near Somalian waters, said the French Navy and European Union would help the Indian Navy, if need be, to tackle piracy.

The Indian Navy had first deployed its warship to the Gulf of Aden in October last year.

Valin said: “We have been tackling the menace of piracy since quite some time. And the Indian Navy too accepts the idea of escorting merchant or sailing vessels to this particular piracy-prone region. If needed, we could always extend help to them.”

Valin also stressed on the need for India to have its own nuclear-propelled submarine. “I find it legitimate for you to have a nuclear submarine. In my opinion, if the Indian Ocean is carrying the name of your country — it is a great matter of pride. And at the moment, India is a great regional power.”

It is projected that India would become a future world power, added Valin. “In such circumstances, India must have the power assets,” he said.