A maiden joint military exercise between the Indian and French armies will be conducted next week at the Pangode Military Station here. Titled FRINJEX-23, the joint military exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability, coordination and cooperation between both the forces at the tactical level, a defence statement said.

It is for the first time both the nations are engaging in this format with each contingent comprising a Company Group, the statement said.

"The exercise is unique in its concept and participation with the largest ever contingent being fielded by the Thiruvananthapuram based Indian Army troops and the French 6th Light Armoured Brigade," it said.

The French contingent is part of a Marine Regiment onboard the Dixmude ship.

The theme for the exercise is based on "Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations in a Contested Environment", the statement said.

The joint exercise intends to consolidate the Indo-France strategic partnership at the tactical level and build a strong foundation for both the nations to collaborate for peace and harmony, it said.