India to maintain its naval presence in the troubled Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, with the aim of protecting Indian-flagged merchant ships and oil tankers transiting the region, reports Times Of India.
•A major bottleneck
“The Strait of Hormuz is a major bottleneck. Disruption of trade in this region can have a major impact on our economy. Under ‘Operation Sankalp’, we will continue to deploy a frontline warship, be it a destroyer or a frigate with a helicopter and a navy command team, ” said a senior Navy the officer said.
•About Operation Sankalp
India launched Operation Sankalp in June 2019 after explosions aboard two foreign tankers in the Gulf of Oman amid tensions.
•Safeguard the passage
With the attacks underscoring the vulnerability of the maritime trade that transits through restricted geographic locations, the Navy dispatched a destroyer INS Chennai and the INS Sunayna patrol vessel to the Gulf of Oman. “The Indian Navy was the first to deploy ships to safeguard the passage of merchant ships through the region,” added the officer.
•Safe passage on a daily basis
Two years later, the continuous advanced naval deployment continues. Up to 23 Indian warships have been deployed in rotation in the Gulf region, with an average of 16 Indian-flagged merchant and oil tankers receiving safe passage on a daily basis.
•Safe oil imports
“The presence of an Indian warship acts as a deterrent to any hostile threat and reassures our merchant ships. If requested, we also embark a marine command security team on a ship for some time, ” said the officer.
“About 60% of India’s oil imports, after all, come from this region,” he added.