INS Satpura (F48) the Shivalik-class stealth multi-role frigate of the Indian Navy in overseas waters

The Indian Navy for the first time is participating in a French naval exercise along with the United States, Australia and Japan in the eastern Indian Ocean from March 5 to 7. Exercise La Perouse will involve complex and advanced naval operations including surface warfare, anti-air warfare and air defence exercises, weapon firing exercises, cross deck flying operations, tactical manoeuvres and seamanship evolutions such as replenishment at sea.

"Indian Navy ships INS Satpura [with an integral helicopter embarked] and INS Kiltan along with P8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft are participating, for the first time; in multi-lateral maritime exercise La Pérouse, being conducted in the eastern Indian Ocean Region from 05 to 07 Apr 2021," the Navy said.

After the Malabar exercise in November last year when the Quad nations participated, the four countries -- India, USA, Australia, and Japan -- are once again coming together along with France.

"The Indian Navy ships and aircraft will exercise at sea with ships and aircraft of the French Navy (FN), Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and United States Navy (USN) during the three-day exercise at sea," a statement from the navy said.

The exercise La Pérouse, led by the French Navy, has participation by FN Ships Tonnerre, an amphibious assault ship and frigate Surcouf. United States Navy is represented in the exercise by amphibious transport dock ship Somerset.

Her Majesty's Australian Ships (HMAS) Anzac, a frigate and tanker Sirius have been deployed by RAN for participation in the exercise while Japan Maritime Self Defence Ship (JMSDF) is represented by the destroyer Akebono. In addition to the ships, integral helicopters will also participate in the exercise.

The Indian Navy said the exercise will showcase high levels of synergy, coordination and inter-operability between the friendly navies.

"Participation by the Indian Navy in the exercise demonstrates the shared values with friendly navies ensuring freedom of seas and commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order."

India's maritime diplomacy involves naval exercises with several friendly countries keeping in mind China's increasing influence in the Indian Ocean Region. The inclusion of more navies in exercises is part of a similar diplomatic outreach of several nations in wake of the Chinese aggression in the waters and increasing forays in the IOR.