India, France carry out joint surveillance mission from Reunion Island

[TamilNet, Saturday, 21 March 2020, 22:51 GMT]
New Delhi conducted its first joint naval patrol with France from the Reunion Island last month, the Hindu reported on Saturday. The Indian Navy was deploying a Boeing P-8 Poseidon to carry out surveillance missions with French Navy personnel on board, the report said. According to Zinfos974, a Reunion news website, French Air Force and Navy took part in the five-day-long surveillance mission with three flights of seven hours each. The engagement was a Maritime Domain Awareness operation, and intended to combat “terrorism and maritime piracy,” the website reported on 05 March. The military aircraft returned to India on 03 March. Both the news reports described France as a strategic partner of India.

India France joint naval surveillance in Reunion
[Photo courtesy:]

“India has so far carried out Coordinated Patrols (CORPAT) only with maritime neighbours and had rejected a similar offer by the US,” noted the Hindu report.

The Republic of France, one of the five nuclear-weapon states distinguished by the non-proliferation treaty, is asserting itself as a sovereign regional power in the Indo-Pacific with a dedicated strategy.

With a robust military presence and 93% of its exclusive economic zone located in the Indo-Pacific, France has started to compete and cooperate with the US.

France claims itself as the world’s second-largest Maritime Exclusive Zone State actor.

The news report by the Hindu observed that India has so far carried out Coordinated Patrols (CORPAT) only with maritime neighbours and had rejected a similar offer by the US.

French military presence in the Indo-Pacific
French military presence in the Indo-Pacific [Map courtesy: France and Security in the Indo-Pacific, Directorate General for International Relations and Strategy, French Ministry for the Armed Forces, 2018 Edition - updated in May 2019]

The French Armed Forces in South-western Indian Ocean (Forces Armées De La Zone Sud De L’Océan Indien - FAZSOI), deployed in La Réunion and Mayotte, ensure the protection and safety of these French territories, their exclusive economic zones and immediate neighbourhoods.

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External Links:
Zinfos974: Un Boeing 737 de l'Indian Navy à La Réunion pour une action de coopération militaire
The Hindu: In a first, India, France conduct joint patrols from Reunion Island


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