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Thursday, Dec 02, 2021
Outlook.com
gulf of aden: piracy

In Blue Water Again

A long, controversial phase behind it, the navy is back in action

In Blue Water Again
In Blue Water Again
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Early on November 11, the Indian navy’s recently acquired stealth frigate, INS Tabar, launched marine commandos on a helicopter to intercept a pirate attack. Within minutes, the chopper had staved off the attack, only to receive a new distress call from another sector. It swung its way to the new threat, the commandos springing into action immediately. Seven days later, the Tabar was still seeing action, rescuing one ship and sinking a pirate "mother ship".

For the Indian navy, the action in the Gulf of Aden comes a couple of decades after one of its ships had sunk an ltte vessel during the ipkf engagement in Sri Lanka. The intervening years have been stormy for the navy—a service chief was sacked in 1998, fresh assets were not being acquired. In 2001, finally, the navy took a tentative step to acquiring ‘blue water capability’—to carry out operations far from the Indian coast. The move received a fillip with the concerted attempts to establish linkages and joint exercises with foreign naval forces (like the Malabar series with the Americans, indra with the Russians, varuna with the French and Tamar-al-Tahir with Oman).

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