Home INDIA Navy vs Pirates Of The Arabian: Inside India’s Daring Red Sea Missions

Navy vs Pirates Of The Arabian: Inside India’s Daring Red Sea Missions

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Navy vs Pirates Of The Arabian: Inside India's Daring Red Sea Missions



Indian Navy saved 110 lives in 100 days from December 14, 2023 (File)

New Delhi:

The Indian Navy has conducted 18 rescue operations in the Arabian Sea since mid-December under Operation Sankalp, which was launched following attacks on merchant ships in the Gulf of Oman in June 2019.

The Navy has been responding to the manifestation of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the maritime domain since December 2023, especially in the Red Sea Corridor – one of the world’s busiest cargo and oil transit points.

The Navy responded to at least 18 incidents between December 2023 and March 2024 and played a critical role as a “first responder” and “preferred security partner” in the Indian Ocean region, the Navy said. During this period, the Navy came to the aid of several countries when the threat of pirate attacks on this important trade route was increased by drone and missile attacks.

How the Navy secured a pirate mothership

On December 14, 2023, pirates hijacked a Malta-flagged cargo ship with the call sign Ruen. The crew on board sent an SOS and the Navy began monitoring it once it was reported that six pirates had illegally boarded it in the Arabian Sea. Sea.

It deployed a warship on anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden to locate and assist the seized vehicle.

It was soon reported that a crew of the ship had been injured. The Navy launched a rescue operation and evacuated the injured sailor from the ship within four days. He was then flown to Oman for treatment.

However, the pirates took control of MV Ruen and sent it towards the Somali coast.

Since then, at least a dozen warships have been deployed to the Gulf of Aden and the northern Arabian Sea to assist ships east of the Red Sea, where the navies of several countries, including the US, are trying to secure the route from the Houthi in Yemen . rebels.

Since the hijacking, the Navy has kept the region under “continuous surveillance activities,” using aerial platforms and other ships to gather information and monitor the region.

A few days and three months later, the MV Ruen was spotted off the Somali coast on March 14. Information came in from the British maritime security company Ambrey.

The pirates converted the bulk carrier into a mothership to attack other ships. On March 15, the Indian Navy diverted its warship INS Kolkata to intercept it. INS Kolkata sailed over 2,600 km and cornered the ship the next morning.

Forty hours later, the Navy forced 35 Somali pirates to surrender and rescued 17 crew members held hostage on the hijacked ship.

The high-stakes operation involved multiple naval ships, drones, aircraft and naval commandos.

INS Subhadra – a patrol vessel, High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE RPA) drones and P8I maritime patrol aircraft joined forces to help INS Kolkata take control of the pirate mothership.

A team of eight naval commandos (MARCOS PRAHARs) were dropped onto the ship by a C-17 aircraft to detain the pirates and safely evacuate the crew. No injuries were reported during the daring operation.

Navy comes to the rescue of Pakistani nationals

Days after the INS Kolkata operation, the Navy rescued 23 Pakistani nationals from a hijacked Iranian fishing vessel “Al-Kambar 786”.

INS Sumedha intercepted the fishing vessel in the early hours of March 29 and was subsequently joined by the guided missile frigate INS Trishul.

On March 28, a distress call was broadcast from the ship about 90 nautical miles southwest of Socotra – an island of Yemen in the Indian Ocean – when nine armed pirates reportedly boarded.

After more than 12 hours of “intense coercive measures”, the Navy forced the pirates aboard the hijacked FV to surrender. The crew comprising 23 Pakistani nationals were rescued safely,” it added.

The Navy has saved 110 lives, including those of 45 Indians, in the 100 days from December 14, 2023. More than 90 maritime incidents occurred between November, including 57 drone or missile attacks or sightings and 39 incidents of piracy, hijacking and suspicious approaches. last year and March.

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