In the midst of escalating tension between the United States and Iran, India has deployed two of its warships in the Gulf region to reassure Indian-flag carrying vessels sailing through the region about security.
The ships INS Chennai, a stealth guided destroyer, and Sunayna, a patrol vessel, have been stationed in the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf to undertake maritime security operations following “maritime security incidents,” the Indian Defence Ministry said in a statement issued on Thursday evening.
In addition, aerial surveillance by an Indian Navy aircraft is also being undertaken in the area, it added.
The Information Fusion Centre - Indian Ocean Region, which was launched by the Indian Navy in December last year at Gurugram near Delhi, is also keeping a close watch on the movement of ships in the Gulf region.
After a holistic review of the situation, Directorate General of Shipping has issued two advisories on June 13 and June 16 to all Indian-flagged vessels operating in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian and Arabian Gulf regions advising them to undertake appropriate protection measures, according to the statement.
A majority of the world’s energy supplies and 40 per cent of India’s oil and gas requirements pass through the Persian Gulf.
India’s decision to deploy the two warships came on a day when Iran shot down a US navy surveillance drone near the Strait of Hormuz.
The Indian Defence Ministry said the “Indian Navy remains committed to ensuring safety of Indian maritime trade and merchant vessels operating in the region and contributing towards maintaining a stable and peaceful Indian Ocean Region.”