Home Asia Pacific France gathers 6 allies for major Indian Ocean drill La Pérouse

France gathers 6 allies for major Indian Ocean drill La Pérouse

La Pérouse 2023 participants sail in formation in the Bay of Bengal, March 14. Photo: US Navy

France has led an international naval maneuver in the Bay of Bengal, in the Indian Ocean, which attracted six other allies for two days of exercises.

The joint training exercise is known as La Pérouse 2023, named after French naval officer and explorer Jean-François de Galaup compte de Pérouse, and took place between March 13 and 14.

It was led by French frigate FS La Fayette and assault ship FS Dixmude, which are currently deployed to Asia-Pacific as part of the French Navy’s annual Jeanne D’Arc mission, which regularly sees French ships operate with allies all the way up to the South China Sea.

Other participants included US Navy’s Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18), Indian Navy Shivalik-class stealth frigate Sahyadri (F49) and Komandarm Fedko-class replenishment oiler INS Jyoti (A58), Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Akizuki-class destroyer Suzutsuki (DD 117), Royal Australian Navy Anzac-class frigate HMAS Perth (FFH 157), personnel from the Royal Canadian Navy, and Royal Navy offshore patrol vessel HMS Tamar (P233).

La Pérouse is a multilateral exercise designed to enhance cooperation in the field of maritime surveillance, interdiction, and air operations by progressive training and information sharing.

The ships met at sea to conduct force integrated training and practiced a range of surface and air warfare events to include live-firing exercises, coordinated tactical maneuvering, flight operations, simulated air-to-surface combat exercises and communications drills.

“It is vital that the Indo-Pacific remains free and open, connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient,” said Cmdr. Spike Lamson, commanding officer, Charleston Gold Crew. “Every opportunity we get to work with our regional Allies and partners helps to strengthen that goal.”

The commander of the Jeanne d’Arc 2023 mission, Captain Emmanuel Mocard, added: “The Laperouse exercise allows us to maintain a high level of seamless interaction between long-standing partner navies which share the same vision of maritime safety issues in the Indo-Pacific area. It contributes to the preservation of international stability based on the respect of maritime law and safety at sea.”