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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Indian Navy Enhances Presence in Red Sea Amid Escalating Crisis

In response to the escalating crisis in the Red Sea, the Indian Navy has strategically deployed units off Djibouti, Gulf of Aden, and the East Coast of Somalia. This move comes as a part of the Navy’s Mission-Based Deployments in key areas of interest within the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), focusing on reinforcing maritime security and addressing evolving threats in the Red Sea, particularly attacks on shipping vessels by Houthi rebels.

Minister of Defence Affirms Indian Navy’s Proactive Measures

Minister of Defence for State, Ajay Bhatt, highlighted the Indian Navy’s proactive engagement in a written reply to Parliament, emphasizing the commitment to maritime security in the IOR. The Navy’s actions include regular deployments, surveillance efforts, and collaborative initiatives with regional and extra-regional navies.

Strengthening Maritime Security

Since 2008, the Indian Navy has played a pivotal role in conducting antipiracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden and the East coast of Africa. This proactive measure has resulted in the successful escorting of 3,440 ships and over 25,000 seafarers. The Navy’s commitment extends beyond physical presence, involving information exchange and intelligence sharing with friendly foreign countries.

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Collaborative International Efforts

Demonstrating a commitment to international cooperation, the Indian Navy actively engages in bilateral and multilateral maritime exercises, joint Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance, and coordinated patrolling with friendly foreign nations. These collaborative efforts aim to counter non-traditional threats and foster regional maritime security.

Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR)

The establishment of the Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) further bolsters regional maritime security. This center operates in coordination with 25 partner nations and over 40 international multinational organizations, facilitating real-time information exchange. The primary objectives include the protection of merchant vessels and providing assistance when required.

“In addition, information exchange/intelligence sharing is also being undertaken with Friendly Foreign Countries to identify the source/reason/players involved in the attacks/incidents,” noted the minister. This underscores the collaborative efforts to identify and address potential threats in the region.

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