“Recently we have had only two incidents (attempts of pirates to highjack ships). Both were not Indian flagged vessels, but in the second case we had Indian crew so we had to respond. So we boarded and rescued the crew. So we are now very proactively deploying our units there to ensure that these pirates keep away,” Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Hari Kumar told reporters
The Indian Navy is proactively deploying its fleet to keep the pirates away and confine them in their waters, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Hari Kumar said on Wednesday.
After unveiling the indigenously manufactured Drishti 10 Starliner Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) by Adani Defence and Aerospace for the Navy, Hari Kumar said there have been about 35 drone attacks on ships largely on Israel-owned or flagged or related vessels in the Red Sea, North and Central Arabian Sea during the last 40-42 days.
Without taking names, he said the immediate neighbours of India collectively hold a very large inventory of UAVs and therefore, it’s only prudent that the country and its armed forces continue to harness resident expertise in the domain.
“Recently we have had only two incidents (attempts of pirates to highjack ships). Both were not Indian flagged vessels, but in the second case we had Indian crew so we had to respond. So we boarded and rescued the crew. So we are now very proactively deploying our units there to ensure that these pirates keep away,” he told reporters.
The Indian Navy on Friday thwarted the attempted hijacking of Liberian-flagged vessel MV Lila Norfolk in the North Arabian Sea and rescued all its crew members including 15 members.
The Indian Navy has deployed a total of six warships for anti-piracy and anti-drone operations and more of them will be sent further to tackle the challenge in the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden, Admiral Hari Kumar said.
“Indian Navy has deployed six warships in the anti-piracy and anti-drone operations. The number is going to go up further. A proposal has been submitted to the government in this regard and clearance is expected shortly,” Navy Chief told a source.
Admiral R Hari Kumar also stated that the Navy is already equipped with anti-drone capabilities including GPS Jammers, surface-to-air missile systems, and laser devices.
“Some warships are already equipped with it and we are working on induction of these capabilities in others,” the Navy chief said.
On the recently concluded operation to save 15 Indians from the hijacked vessel MV Lili Norfolk in the Arabian Sea, the Navy Chief said, “We take the challenge to bring back our countrymen from wherever they are. It was not an Indian-flagged ship but the crew were Indian and it is our national policy to help them whenever they are distressed. We did the same in Sudan and Ukraine.”
He further stated that directions have been given to the Naval officers to take action to prevent piracy at any cost.
“We want to keep the Indian Ocean region safe and secure,” the Navy chief said.
Earlier all 21 crew members including 15 Indian nationals from the hijacked vessel MV Lila Norfolk off Somalia coast were safely evacuated by the Indian Navy on Friday.
On the sanitisation operation conducted by Marine Commandos at Merchant vessel MV Lila Norfolk, Admiral R Hari Kumar said, “It seems that after seeing our aircraft and drones operating all over the ship hijacked by them, the Pirates ran away from the Lili Norfolk in the night of 4-5 January itself. The Marine Commandos had to sanitise the vessel for any traps or other issues.”
Navy further credited the Centre for bringing the anti-piracy act stating that very few countries in the world possess such legislation,
“Our national leadership has passed the anti-piracy act, it has made it clear that there is no room for piracy in our region and this is our responsibility as Indian Navy to ensure that. It is our duty to find them and take action against them. We have been enabled by the anti-piracy act, very few countries have an act like this,” he said.
Merchant vessel MV Lila Norfolk was hijacked by pirates 300 nautical miles east of Somalia, while it was sailing from Port Du Aco in Brazil and was bound for Khalifa Bin Salman in Bahrain.