- Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her visit to France discuss for a bilateral tri-service military exercise and to operationalise the logistics agreement between two countries.
- Bilateral tri-service military exercise between two countries will be India’s third such joint exercise.
- The first joint tri-service exercise was held with Russia in October last year and has finalised one with the U.S. to be held next year.
- India and France currently hold bilateral exercises between individual services — Shakti, Varuna and Garuda respectively for the Army, Navy and Air Force.
- India and France signed a logistics pact in March this year which gives access to their militaries to each other’s bases for logistics support.
- The agreement gives India access to French military bases all over the world on a “reciprocal basis,”
- This gives India access to the three French bases in the Indian Ocean — Reunion Island, Djibouti and Abu Dhabi.
- These three bases would give the Indian Navy and the Air Force operational turnaround to the far end of the Indian Ocean, improving its monitoring and surveillance of the region, in the backdrop of increased Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
- During her visit defence minister discussed “how to operationalise it and make it happen.” With her counterpart.