January 10 – India to send additional warships to Arabian Sea amid threats of attacks


Jan 10, 2024. Posted by  Balkan Periscope - Hellas

 India will increase the number of warships for anti-piracy operations in the Arabian Sea by five times more than last year as the threats of attacks rise.


At least a dozen warships will police the vast waters, senior Indian officials said, asking not to be identified in order to discuss confidential information.

 For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

 The South Asian nation increased deployment in the region from two to five warships in December after a tanker carrying chemicals was hit by a projectile from an unknown source near Indian waters. On Friday, India’s marine commandos boarded a hijacked cargo carrier to rescue the vessel and its crew.

 Each of India’s warships will carry a detachment of marine commandos and have helicopters on board, the people said. In addition, the warships will be backed by US made MQ9 drones and long-range surveillance aircraft.

 Vivek Madhwal, a spokesman for India’s navy, declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News.

 The move to have more warships in the Arabian Sea matches with India’s broader policy of projecting itself as the primary security partner for nations in the region, through which some 40 percent of the world’s oil is transported.

 India permanently deploys warships at five choke points in the Indian Ocean, stretching from the Gulf of Aden in the west to the Malacca Strait in the east. Its navy is carrying out more warship patrols than ever before in the Indian Ocean as concerns grow about China’s increasing naval power.

 New Delhi, however, remains reluctant to officially join the US-led multinational naval coalition of 20 nations operating in the Red Sea against the Yemeni Houthi militants. The US says the group is backed by Iran, with whom India has deep historical ties. Also, India has never joined any coalition unless it’s under the aegis of the United Nations.

 In addition, New Delhi reasons since the US-led coalition is operating in the Red Sea, strengthening anti-piracy operations in the Arabian Sea would only add to the overall effort to secure commerce in the region, the people said.

 India was carefully evaluating all aspects of the unfolding situation in the region and its “defense forces are taking necessary measures,” a spokesperson for the country’s Ministry of External Affairs told reporters in response to a question on whether it would join the US-led operation in December.

 The attacks on cargo vessels in the Red Sea is hindering India’s trade, with exports likely to take about a $30 billion hit this fiscal year, according to some estimates.