In Pics: Inside French warship Chevalier Paul

WION's diplomatic correspondent Sidhant Sibal was onboard the giant French warship and clicked exclusive pictures as he spoke to the sailors and commander of the ship.

FNS Chevalier Paul

FNS Chevalier Paul, a Horizon-class air defence destroyer is currently deployed in the Indian Ocean as part of France’s permanent military presence in the region.

As part of this deployment, it is making a port call at Mumbai on November 18-19, and later at Kochi, marking Indo-French naval cooperation and the central role that India plays in France’s naval presence and strategy in the Indian Ocean.

WION's diplomatic correspondent Sidhant Sibal was onboard the giant French warship and clicked exclusive pictures as he spoke to the sailors and commander of the ship.

 

(Photograph:WION)

Chevalier Paul: Horizon-class air defence destroyer

On April 25-27, 2021, France and India held their 19th “Varuna” bilateral exercise with large-scale drills in the western Arabian Sea with the participation of the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and its entire carrier strike group.

2021 also saw India’s maiden participation in the French-led “La Pérouse” naval exercise that brings together the US, Australian and Japanese Navies.

The Horizon-class air defence destroyer, Chevalier Paul, was commissioned by the French Navy in 2011. A versatile ship specializing in air defence and control, its main missions are the escort and protection of a carrier strike group or of an amphibious task force, but it can be employed for a variety of other tasks. It carries a crew of 215, 15% of whom are women.

(Photograph:WION)

Chevalier Paul equipped with Exocet anti-ship missiles

Chevalier Paul's main weapons system, the PAAMS (Principal Anti-Air Missile System) is made of a 3D detection capability combined with EMPAR fire control radar and ASTER 30 anti-air missiles, ensuring a 360° protection at a distance of 100 kilometres against aircraft and 30 kilometres against anti-ship missiles.

Exocet anti-ship missiles, anti-submarine torpedoes and several guns are also embarked on the destroyer. FNS Chevalier Paul can also carry a multi-role military helicopter.

(Photograph:WION)

Kitchen inside Chevalier Paul

Earlier this year, the French warship Chevalier Paul had taken part in the 19th Indo-French “Varuna” naval exercise as part of the French carrier strike group.

Maritime cooperation between France and India goes back several decades - the first joint Varuna naval exercise took place in 1983 - and has intensified in recent years with increasingly ambitious joint exercises that have raised their degree of interoperability to a new level. 

In 2018, during the State Visit of President Emmanuel Macron to India, France and India concluded an agreement for reciprocal logistics support between French and Indian armed forces, which provides mutual access to military bases, including naval ports. Naval cooperation plays a key role in the two countries’ joint vision for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

(Photograph:WION)

India-France defence cooperation

Ahead of its port call in Mumbai, the Chevalier Paul took part in a large-scale Indo-French air and naval exercise on 16-17 November off the coast of Maharashtra.

This exercise brought together 16 Indian and French aircraft, including French Mirage 2000 and Rafale jets from the Abu Dhabi airbase, as well as the Chevalier Paul destroyer. It aimed to simulate a highly complex air attack and defence scenario.

(Photograph:WION)

Chevalier Paul: Horizon-class air defence destroyer

On April 25-27, 2021, France and India held their 19th “Varuna” bilateral exercise with large-scale drills in the western Arabian Sea with the participation of the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and its entire carrier strike group.

2021 also saw India’s maiden participation in the French-led “La Pérouse” naval exercise that brings together the US, Australian and Japanese Navies.

The Horizon-class air defence destroyer, Chevalier Paul, was commissioned by the French Navy in 2011. A versatile ship specializing in air defence and control, its main missions are the escort and protection of a carrier strike group or of an amphibious task force, but it can be employed for a variety of other tasks. It carries a crew of 215, 15% of whom are women.

(Photograph:WION)

Indo-French naval cooperation

To demonstrate the strength of Indo-French naval cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, the French air defence destroyer FNS Chevalier Paul  was called at Mumbai naval port after taking part in a large-scale air and naval joint exercise off the coast of Maharashtra.

(Photograph:WION)

Air defence, multi-role destroyer 

Captain Antoine Vibert, commanding officer of the Chevalier Paul, told WION that a multi-role destroyer specialises in air defence. It protects high-value units from any threat.

Vibert added that France always deploys one frigate or a destroyer in the Indian Ocean while adding that France has many strategic interests in the Indian Ocean and it wants to protect them. 

(Photograph:WION)

Chevalier Paul

The horizon-class air defence destroyer FNS Chevalier Paul has added another chapter in Indo-French defence ties. India has already brought the Rafale jets from France. All 36 fighters will be part of India's arsenal by April, 2022.

WION's Sidhant Sibal had earlier spoken to ambassador of France to India Emmanuel Lenain on board the French Navy ship Chevalier Paul.

Emmanuel Lenain said, "We feel that we are country of the region... we feel we are India's neighbour... we have territories in the region". 

The French ambassador also spoke on the AUKUS pact, calling it a "surprise and major disappointment" and was "a major breach of trust".

(Photograph:WION)

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