Exercise La Perouse

In April 2021, the Indian Navy participated for the first time in Exercise La Perouse, a multilateral maritime exercise. Military exercises are important from the UPSC Prelims point of view and they are also relevant for the international relations segment of the UPSC syllabus.

In this article, you can read all about the naval Exercise La Perouse for the IAS exam and other govt exams.

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La Perouse Military Exercise

The multilateral naval exercise La Perouse is led by the French Navy. It was initiated in 2019 when the navies of France, the US, Australia and Japan participated.

  • The exercise is named after the 18th-century French naval officer and explorer Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse.
  • La Perouse is an exercise during the annual French Navy midshipman deployment called Mission Jeanne d’Arc. 
  • The exercise showcases the common goal of the participating navies which is maritime security in the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific region.

Exercise La Perouse 2021

This was the first time India participated in the La Perouse Exercise along with the French, US, Japanese and Australian navies.

  • India’s presence completed the Quad forces representation in the maritime exercise.
  • Indian Navy ships INS Kiltan and INS Satpura participated in the exercise along with P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
  • The exercise was conducted in the Eastern Indian Ocean from 5th to 7th April.
  • The exercise showcased advanced and complex naval operations including anti-air warfare, surface warfare, air defence exercises, cross deck flying operations, weapon firing exercises, seamanship evolutions such as replenishment at sea and tactical manoeuvres.
  • It aimed at promoting maritime cooperation and developing closer links and sharpening the skills of the navies concerned countries.
  • It also is expected to nurture synergy, coordination and inter-operability among the friendly navies.
  • In the exercise, the French Navy was represented by FN Ships Tonnerre, an amphibious assault ship and frigate Surcouf.
  • Amphibious transport dock ship Somerset took part on behalf of the US Navy, HMAS Anzac and tanker Sirius from Australia and destroyer Akebono represented Japan.

Significance of the Indo-Pacific

The naval exercise is being seen as a warning to China which has been expanding its engagements in the Indian Ocean region. China has disputes with several countries in the region with respect to territorial issues including with Japan, Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia, etc.

To know more about the South China Sea dispute, click on the link.

  • The Indo-Pacific is becoming a serious theatre for naval action for multiple nations with a vision to establish an open, free, inclusive and rules-based ordering of the Indo-Pacific to support freedom of navigation and peaceful cooperative use of the seas.
  • The objective is to adhere to international standards and treaties such as the UNCLOS and resolve territorial disputes through peaceful means.
  • The QUAD countries also took part in the naval exercise Malabar with the aim to coordinate for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
  • On the contrary, China hopes to establish a defensive perimeter around its seas by denying the freedom of navigation. Its seas include the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and part of the South China Sea.
  • The US Indo-Pacific Command which was set up after the Second World War is the largest unified command. This shows the strategic importance of this region for the US.
  • France has a direct strategic and economic stake in French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna. France is a member of the Pacific Community and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
  • The Indian Navy has always maintained a tactical advantage over the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to ensure compliance with the internationally established Rules of the Road (ROR) for the seas.
    • The Indian Navy has observed and reported multiple sightings of undeclared Chinese ships and submarines suspiciously lurking within the IOR.

FAQ about Exercise La Perouse

Who led the exercise La Pérouse?

The exercise was led by French Navy. It had been conducted in the Eastern Indian Ocean Region from 05 to 07 Apr 2021.

What is the role of India in the exercise La Pérouse?

Indian Navy Ships INS Satpura and INS Kiltan along with P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft are participating, for the first time in multi-lateral maritime exercise La Pérouse. The participation by the Indian Navy in the exercise exhibits the shared values with friendly navies ensuring freedom of seas and commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order.


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