Updated December 26th, 2023 at 13:00 IST
India deploys 3 BrahMos-armed warships in Arabian sea following attacks on merchant vessels
Navy responding to Arabian Sea attacks has deployed guided missile destroyers as investigations following the drone strike on MV Chem Pluto remains ongoing.
New Delhi: The Indian Navy, responding to recent attacks on merchant ships in the Arabian Sea, has deployed its latest guided missile destroyer, INS Mormugao in the region, as per reports. This warship, armed with deadly Brahmos missiles, joins two other destroyers, INS Kochi and INS Kolkata, in the region.
"Acknowledging the recent spate of attacks in the Arabian Sea, the Indian Navy has deployed guided missile destroyers INS Mormugao, INS Kochi, and INS Kolkata in various areas to maintain a deterrent presence," stated a defence official.
Navy's boosts vigilance after drone strike on MV Chem Pluto
The decision to deploy the additional warship came a day after a drone attack on the MV Chem Pluto, a merchant vessel, just off the Indian coastline in the Arabian Sea. In response, the Indian Navy dispatched P-8I long-range patrol aircraft to monitor the area and ensure heightened awareness.
Following the drone strike on MV Chem Pluto, the Navy's Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team conducted a thorough inspection upon the ship's arrival at Mumbai Harbour. It was escorted to the docks by the Indian Coast Guard ship Vikram. The vessel, carrying a crew of 21 individuals (20 Indians and one Vietnamese), sustained damage from the attack, prompting ongoing investigations into the incident.
Pentagon suspects Iran's 'one-way drone attack'
Reports from a Pentagon spokesperson suggested that the attack was carried out by a ‘one-way attack drone fired from Iran’.
The Navy's preliminary analysis indicated that the merchant ship was struck by a drone approximately 400 kilometres off the Indian coastline. Debris recovered from the vessel confirmed suspicions of a drone attack, initiating further detailed scrutiny of the damaged parts to identify the type and the amount of explosives used in the attack.
After inspections by various authorities, the chemical tanker has been permitted to resume operations, with mandatory repairs scheduled for the damaged section. The recent drone attack on MV Chem Pluto follows concerns over merchant vessels potentially becoming targets, especially amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. In response to these incidents, a collaborative investigation involving multiple agencies has been initiated to thoroughly analyse the situation.
The Indian Navy's spokesperson confirmed the completion of the EOD team's assessment and cleared MV Chem Pluto for further operations.
With three guided missile destroyers now stationed in the Arabian Sea, the Indian Navy remains on high alert and has taken measures to tighten current maritime surveillance. Additionally, as per Navy’s spokesperson, the Western Naval Command's Maritime Operations Centre is actively monitoring the situation in close coordination with the Coast Guard and other relevant agencies.
Published December 26th, 2023 at 12:45 IST
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