What The Indian Navy Said (Source)
Indian Navy has deployed, in the Gulf of Oman, to re-assure Indian Flagged Vessels operating/ transiting through the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman following the maritime security incidents in the region.
IN Ships Chennai and Sunayna have been deployed in the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf to undertake Maritime Security operations. In addition, aerial surveillance by IN aircraft is also being undertaken in the area. The Information Fusion Centre — Indian Ocean Region which was launched by the IN in December 2018 at Gurugram, is also keeping a close watch on the movement of ships in the Gulf region.
After a holistic review of the situation, DG Shipping has issued two advisories on 13 and 16 June 2019 to all Indian Flagged Vessels operating in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian/ Arabian Gulf Region advising Indian Flagged ships to undertake appropriate protection measures.
Indian Navy remains committed to ensuring the safety of Indian maritime trade and merchant vessels operating in the region and contributing towards maintaining a stable and peaceful Indian Ocean Region.
In June 2019, two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf Of Oman. This added more tension to the already-existing tension between the United States and Iran. (Source)
Operation Sankalp is aimed at monitoring and protecting ships passing through the Persian Gulf and the Gulf Of Oman. The Persian Gulf is 990km long while the Gulf Of Oman is 560km. It also connects the Strait of Hormuz with the Persian Gulf, and that’s where the problem begins.
You see, the Indian Ocean is a minefield — it’s been witness to piracy, unsanctioned attacks and is also a busy trade route between the oil-producing nations of the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent. The region has an estimated one-third of all the oil and natural gas available in the world.
As mentioned earlier, the INS Chennai and the INS Sunayna have been stationed in the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf.
The INS Chennai (D65)is a Kolkata-class stealth guided-missile destroyer and is the last of three ships built under Project 15A. She was launched in April 2010. The INS Chennai seal has a bull symbolizing the Jallikatu festival in Tamil Nadu. She is armed with Barak 8 surface-to-air missiles, Brahmos supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, a 76 mm dual-purpose gun, four AK-630 close-in gun platforms, four torpedo tubes, two RBU-6000 anti-submarine rockets and can also carry two helicopters — either the Sea King or the HAL Dhruv.
The INS Sunayna (P57) is a Saryu-class patrol vessel that was commissioned in October 2013 at Kochi. She weighs 2,200 tonnes and has a top speed of 25 knots (46 kph). The main armament includes the following — a 76-mm super rapid gun-mount, AK-630 close-in weapons-systems for anti-air purposes and chaff launchers.
India depends heavily on the Middle East for oil imports — 2 out of every 3 barrels of oil imported comes from there. A major war in the middle east will be disastrous for India — and largely beyond our control.
Because of the rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which included the death of an Iranian general and a constant exchange of fire between the two sides, oil imports will be hit.
To safeguard India’s oil imports, Operation Sankalp was formulated. It includes the following stakeholders:
- The Ministry of Defence
- Ministry of External Affairs
- Ministry of Shipping
- Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
- The Directorate General of Shipping
- The Indian Navy
The Indian Navy has deployed the INS Chennai and the INS Sunayna, along with maritime patrol aircraft to establish a presence, reassure Indian merchantmen and ensure that our oil and other trade interests are protected.
Since this region also serves as an oceanic highway for a large number of countries, the Indian Govt has linked up with about 36 other nations and 15 maritime agencies to closely monitor the Indian Ocean Region or IOR. This led to the formation of an Information Fusion Centre in 2018 at Gurugram. This is part of the Indian Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC), which is the nerve center for all coastal radars and other surveillance sites. The IMAC is where the Indian Navy gets all its real-time coastal security updates.
You can visit the website here — https://www.indiannavy.nic.in/ifc-ior/
The functions of the IFC-IOR
- To detect and deter maritime threats in the Indian Ocean Region
- Confidence and capacity building amongst partner nations, thereby ensuring swift and accurate exchange of information pertaining to maritime security.
- Achieving transparency of the maritime environment.
- Use of state of the art methods and analytic tools to undertake traffic analysis to predict trends and threats
- To exchange information on ‘white shipping’ or commercial shipping with other countries in the region and all of India’s naval allies and treaty signatories.
- To host liasion officers from foreign navies whenever there are joint exercises
- To train liasion officers in maritime security and surveillance
- To share weather forecasts with agencies working with the IFC-IOR