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French naval warships call at Kochi port


May 6, 2011 - Kochi

The French Navy's Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) 'Mistral' together with Anti-Submarine Warfare Destroyer Georges Leygues, arrived here on a three-day port call.

The ship, belonging to the state-of-the-art and innovative fleet of the French Navy bears close defence systems and is equipped to carry out a wide range of missions: amphibious and air support operations, crisis management, command and control, medical support.

The ships will leave Kochi for Singapore on Sunday. The training cruise is slated to conclude at the Mistral's homeport in Toulon in July.

French Ambassador to India Jerome Bonnafont, who arrived here in connection with the visit of the warships, along with Vice-Admiral Marin Gillier, Commander of the French Forces in the Indian Ocean (ALINDIEN), called on Vice-Admiral Sushil, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command on Thursday.

Speaking about the visit, Vice-Admiral Gillier said that the mission's primary goal was to have the cadets discover what was significant in the Indian Ocean.

He said the visit to India was important, as it was a central country in the region and an emerging super power that used power in a responsible way.

LHD Mistral, commanded by Captain Xavier Moreau has 130 cadets including 90 from the Naval Academy and 18 cadets from different countries.

Georges Leygues, the frigate escorting Mistral, is an Anti-Submarine Warfare Ship (ASW), and is commanded by Captain Christophe Lucas.

ANI

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