FRINJEX-23, the first-ever joint military exercise between the Indian Army and the French Army, is scheduled to be held on March 7 and 8, 2023, at Pangode Military Station in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The exercise, which involves a company group from each country, is aimed at enhancing inter-operability, coordination, and cooperation between the two forces at the tactical level. This exercise marks an important milestone in the Indo-France defence relationship, which has been growing steadily in recent years.

India-France Defence Relationship: A Brief Overview

India and France have been working closely on defence cooperation since the early 1990s. France has been a reliable supplier of defence equipment to India, with major deals including the purchase of Mirage 2000 fighter jets, Scorpene submarines, and Rafale fighter jets. India and France have also been conducting joint naval exercises under the Varuna series since 1993.

In recent years, India and France have further strengthened their defence relationship, with a particular focus on maritime security and counter-terrorism. In 2018, the two countries signed an agreement to facilitate the use of each other’s military facilities, which allows Indian and French forces to use each other’s naval bases for logistics and other support.

FRINJEX-23: Objectives and Scope

FRINJEX-23 is a joint military exercise that aims to enhance inter-operability, coordination, and cooperation between the Indian Army and the French Army at the tactical level. The exercise will involve establishing and operationalizing a joint command post to secure an area for joint humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, setting up an Internally Displaced Population (IDP) camp, and moving disaster relief material.

The exercise will also involve joint training in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations, including sharing best practices and tactics. The participating troops will also conduct joint patrols and live firing drills to hone their skills. The objectives of the exercise are to enhance mutual understanding and trust between the two forces, exchange operational and tactical experiences, and learn from each other’s best practices. The exercise will also provide an opportunity for both armies to showcase their capabilities and equipment to each other.

Significance of FRINJEX-23

FRINJEX-23 is a significant milestone in the India-France defence relationship, which has been growing in recent years. The joint exercise is a testament to the deepening defence cooperation between the two countries and their shared commitment to strengthening the Indo-France strategic partnership.

The exercise will provide an opportunity for the Indian Army and the French Army to learn from each other’s experiences and best practices, and enhance their interoperability and cooperation at the tactical level. This will be particularly valuable in the context of joint operations in the Indo-Pacific region, where both countries have a significant strategic interest.

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