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HomeIndiaHow Indian Navy’s warships are battling pirates, drones in the Arabian Sea

How Indian Navy’s warships are battling pirates, drones in the Arabian Sea

Indian Navy displays the maritime safety scenario in North/ Central Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden. PTI

They’re known as the Guardians of the Seas and the Indian Navy resides as much as its identify. Amid rising piracy assaults and drone strikes by Houthi rebels, the maritime drive has now deployed over 10 top-of-the-line warships within the strategic waters of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

This comes days after the naval forces rescued 21 crew members aboard the Liberia-flagged service provider vessel MV Lila Norfolk, which had been hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia.

Let’s take a more in-depth have a look at how the warships deployed and the way they may safe the excessive seas.

Enhanced surveillance within the Arabian Sea

From having a mere two warships within the Arabian Sea for anti-piracy duties at first of December final yr, the deployment was elevated to 5 by the center of the identical month, and now stands at 10 after latest assaults.

Final month, the Indian Navy had introduced that it might deploy INS Kolkata, INS Kochi, INS Mormugao, INS Chennai and INS Visakhapatnam into the Arabian theatre. In line with a report by the Hindustan Instances, INS Kolkata was deployed on the mouth of Crimson Sea, INS Kochi is located south of Yemen Socotra Island, INS Mormugao is in west Arabian Sea with Chennai in Central Arabian Sea and INS Visakhapatnam was tasked to patrol the north Arabian Sea.

Now, multi-role frigates like INS Talwar and INS Tarkash will even be deployed within the area to make sure secure passage of ships.

On 6 January, Navy Chief Admiral R H Hari had stated that anti-piracy and anti-drone operations had been enhanced within the area and extra such motion could be taken within the close to future to sort out the challenges.

He had additional directed to hold out thorough checks on the suspicious boats to make sure the protection of our service provider vessels and mariners.

How Indian Navys warships are battling pirates drones in the Arabian Sea
INS Chennai, a Kolkata class destroyer, is moored at a jetty in Mumbai. The Indian Navy deployed the ship and a patrol plane within the Arabian Sea following a hijacking try onboard a Liberia-flagged bulk service. AP

Furthermore, every of the deployed warships include the presence of Marine Commandos (MARCOS). The Instances of India has additionally reported that aside from the presence of the warships, common ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) missions are additionally being flown by P-8I long-range maritime patrol plane and unarmed MQ-9B Sea Guardian drones are additionally patrolling the waters.

Latest spate of assaults within the Arabian Sea

The deployment of warships and elevated surveillance within the waters come at a time when there’s been a spate of assaults.

As lately as final week, MV Lila Norfolk, a bulk service with about 15 Indian crew members, had been taken hostage close to Somalia’s coast. Nearly instantly, the Indian Navy deployed INS Chennai and in a daring operation, Indian marine commandos intercepted, then boarded the hijacked ship, and rescued the crew.

Previous to this, on 23 December final yr, MV Chem Pluto – a chemical/ oil tanker with a crew of 21 Indians and a Vietnamese – was hit by a drone within the Arabian Sea whereas en path to New Mangalore port. The Indian Navy after finding out the world of assault and particles discovered on the ship pointed to a drone assault, which was additionally corroborated by the US Pentagon. A Pentagon spokesperson had claimed that the MV Chem Pluto was hit “a one-way attack drone fired from Iran”.

How Indian Navys warships are battling pirates drones in the Arabian Sea
MV Chem Pluto ship which was hit by a drone launched from Iran. The Indian Navy stated it has commenced “focused” maritime safety operations within the Arabian Sea. PTI

A day later, a Gabon-flagged business oil tanker, MV Sai Baba, on its option to India with 25 crew members, all of them Indians, additionally got here below drone assault within the southern Crimson Sea.

And on 14 December final yr, Malta-flagged vessel MV Ruen, with 18 on board, had been hijacked within the Arabian Sean. Days later, one of many crew members – who had sustained a bullet harm to his shoulder in the course of the piracy incident – was moved by the Navy to INS Kochi for medical help. In line with the New Indian Specific, MV Ruen continues to stay docked off the Somalia coast.

Also read: Will find MV Chem Pluto attackers even from the depths of seas: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

Not part of ‘Operation Prosperity Guardian’

Curiously, India’s elevated surveillance comes at a time when the USA has launched a multi-national naval coalition known as Operation Prosperity Guardian. India, regardless of being a key ally of Washington, has not dedicated to the operation.

Also read: How Houthi attacks in the Red Sea could affect everyday life

When requested about the identical, a prime Navy official had instructed The Week: “At the moment, there is no reason to involve ourselves in the Operation as our interests are being protected. But of course, if we find that they are being threatened at any point of time, we are ever-ready to do the needful.”

As of now, Operation Prosperity Guardian entails the navies of Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, Spain, UK and US. The duty drive falls below the Mixed Maritime Forces, a multinational alliance tasked with defending the world’s transport lanes.

The Operation got here into impact because the Houthis have attacked a number of service provider vessels and compelled corporations to droop routes by way of the area.

With inputs from companies

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