By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, January 29
French Navy Ship “Marne” which is part of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) of the French nuclear-propelled aircraft carrier “Charles de Gaulle” (CDG) recently visited Mumbai during which its officers interacted with their Indian counterparts.
The ship was on a goodwill visit to Mumbai from January 21 to January 28. She is under the command of Commander Pierre-Alban Pancrazi.
While CDG and other ships of the CSG, French Naval Ships “Forbin” and “Provence”, are berthed at Goa, the fleet tanker “Marne” was anchored off Mumbai.
At Mumbai, Commander Pancrazi called on Vice Admiral Krishna Swaminathan, Chief of Staff, Western Naval Command (WNC) and discussed subjects of mutual interest. During the ship’s stay at the port, the crew visited various places of interest.
Over the decades, defence engagement between India and France has grown significantly. The current CSG visit to Mumbai and Goa provided excellent training value and enhanced interoperability in the maritime domain. With common interest in bolstering regional peace and stability, the two navies remain committed to working together, an official statement read.
Marne is a Durance class command and replenishment tanker of the French Navy. In addition to its primary duty as a fleet tanker, Marne is configured as a flagship and has served as such in the Indian Ocean.
In French service, the final three are (BCR, “command and replenishment ship”).In addition to their role as a fleet tanker, the three ships dubbed BCR can accommodate an entire general staff and thus supervise naval operations as a command ship. The three ships of the class designated BCRs, “Var”, “Marne” and “Somme” all have superstructures that were extended aft by 8 m (26 ft) to accommodate the additional staff requirements. The BCRs have one crane positioned along the centreline.