The new joint exercise will strengthen defence cooperation between India and France
Contingents of the Indian Army and French Army are taking part in the maiden Joint Military Exercise FRINJEX-23 which began in Kerala on Tuesday.

This marks the first time that armies from both nations will engage in this format, with the contingents comprising a Company Group from the Thiruvananthapuram-based Indian Army troops and the French 6th Light Armoured Brigade.

The two-day exercise is taking place at Pangode Military Station, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

According to the Ministry of Defence, the primary goal of the joint military exercise is to enhance inter-operability, coordination, and cooperation between the two forces at a tactical level.

It added that the scope of the exercise will involve the establishment and operationalization of a joint command post to secure an envisaged area for undertaking joint humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, establishing an Internally Displaced Population (IDP) camp, and movement of disaster relief material.

The press release went on to say that the joint exercise will strengthen defence cooperation with France, which is a crucial component of the wider Indo-French strategic alliance.

FRINJEX-23 is a new exercise in addition to the existing bilateral army drill named Shakti. The two nations also hold a joint naval exercise called Vaurna and a joint air exercise named Garuda.

From the 1950s till the present, France and India have worked together on various defence initiatives. Through collaborative military exercises, the sale of defence equipment, and technology exchange, the two nations have consolidated their defence relations over time.

In addition to defence, India and France collaborate in the fields of maritime security, intelligence exchange, and counterterrorism. Frequent bilateral and international military drills are also conducted by the two nations.