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Updated December 26th, 2023 at 12:53 IST

Indian Navy mobilizes guided missile destroyers to secure IOR in the aftermath of drone attack

Indian Navy takes proactive measures post-suspected drone attack on MV Chem Pluto, deploying guided missile destroyers and aircraft to bolster security.

Yuvraj Tyagi
INS Kolkata
INS Kolkata | Image:Indian Navy
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In the wake of a suspected drone attack on the Israel-affiliated merchant vessel MV Chem Pluto, the Indian Navy takes proactive measures to secure the Arabian Sea. Guided Missile Destroyers, including INS Mormugao, INS Kochi, and INS Kolkata, are strategically deployed to maintain a robust deterrent presence and bolster maritime security. 

Following heightened challenges in the region, the navy's deployment aims to enhance vigilance and safeguard against potential threats. Concurrently, long-range maritime reconnaissance P8I aircraft actively contribute to comprehensive domain awareness, demonstrating a commitment to proactive security measures. 

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Investigative responses unveiled 

The Western Naval Command's Maritime Operations Centre, in close coordination with the Coast Guard and relevant agencies, meticulously monitors the evolving situation. The suspected drone attack on MV Chem Pluto prompts a comprehensive investigation into the incident's nature and origin.

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Damage caused to the hull of MV Chem Pluto from the suspected drone attack. | Credit- Indian Navy

Initial reports indicate the need for further forensic and technical analysis to determine critical details, including the vector of the attack and the type and amount of explosive used. The Explosive Ordnance Team's analysis forms the basis for a joint investigation involving various agencies, ensuring a thorough examination of the circumstances. 

International implications and disputes 

Despite claims by the Pentagon attributing the drone strike to Iran, the Iranian Foreign Ministry refutes the allegations as "baseless." The incident unfolds against the backdrop of heightened tensions in the Red Sea, with a US-led task force actively addressing security challenges in the region.

The suspected drone attack on MV Chem Pluto, a Liberian-flagged Chemical/Oil Tanker with 21 Indian and 1 Vietnamese crew members, occurred on December 23. The vessel safely reached Mumbai and anchored at Outer Anchorage on December 25, marking a significant development amid ongoing investigations.

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Credit- Indian Navy

Upon arrival, the Indian Navy's Explosive Ordnance Disposal team conducts a preliminary assessment, pointing to evidence consistent with a drone attack. MV Chem Pluto receives operational clearance from its company-in-charge in Mumbai, with mandatory checks by inspecting authorities preceding the Ship-to-Ship (STS) transfer of cargo. 

The comprehensive response, encompassing strategic naval deployments and a joint investigative approach, underscores India's commitment to ensuring the security and stability of the Arabian Sea. As the situation unfolds, the Indian Navy remains steadfast in its efforts to safeguard maritime interests and respond effectively to emerging threats. 

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Published December 26th, 2023 at 12:49 IST

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