ANI Photo | Piracy has resurfaced as industry, Indian Navy to ensure it is prevented: Admiral R Hari Kumar

Vowing further naval interventions to secure distressed shipping assets on the high seas, Navy Chief, Admiral R Hari Kumar on Saturday flagged concerns over the resurfacing of piracy as an ‘industry’ to gain from ‘disorder in the region’.
Addressing media persons on the completion of hundred days of naval operations against operations for anti-drone, anti-missile, and anti-piracy attacks in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, and Red Sea, Admiral Hari Kumar said the Navy will continue taking affirmative action to prevent such incidents, adding that ‘Operation Sankalp’, the naval operation to secure the crew of Bulgaria-flagged merchant vessel MV Ruen, has broken the myth of short and swift operations and stressed the need for sustained interventions to ensure the safety and stability of shipping assets in the oceans.
“Piracy has resurfaced as an industry to gain from the disorder in the region. We will take affirmative action to prevent that,” the Nacy chief said at the press conference on Saturday.
“Operation Sankalp has broken the myth of short and swift operations and stressed the need for sustained operations to ensure safety and stability in the oceans. The pace of operations is quite high and we have 11 submarines and 30 warships operating in different parts of the ocean to ensure coverage of all areas of interest,” Admiral Hari Kumar added.
“We have deployed 10 warships in the entire region for anti-piracy, anti-missile, and anti-drone operations under Operation Sankalp. The task is to ensure safety and stability for merchant vessels carrying cargo to reach shores safely. Because they are deployed there, they can respond to attacks or incidents as first responders,” the Navy chief added.
The Navy chief noted no Indian vessels were targeted were prirates, adding that the Houthi rebels were targeting vessels linked to Israel.
“None of our Indian vessels have been targeted. The Houthis have been targeting vessels with linkages to Israel. They are also targeting ships with flags of Western countries like the UK and the US. We are getting involved because we have Indian crew on almost all these ships,” Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of Naval Staff on the 100 days of the Indian Navy’s operations for anti-drone, anti-missile and anti-piracy attacks in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and Red Sea,” the Navy chief said.
Calling the Maritime Piracy Act 2022 a ‘great enabler’, Admiral Hari Kumar added that it has now enabled the force to visit, board and search pirated ships.
“The Maritime Piracy Act 2022 has now enabled us to visit, board and search pirated ships. This act is a great enabler. In the last 100 days, we may have made at least 1000 such boardings,” Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of Naval Staff on the 100 days of the Indian Navy’s operations for anti-drone, anti-missile and anti-piracy attacks in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and Red Sea,” he said.
“Details of the ships can be found with the automatic identification system and it is easy for Houthi rebels in Yemen, and that is how they have been targeting the ships through missiles and drones. Drones are also being used to monitor the ships,” the Navy chief added.
Earlier, on Saturday, as many as 35 Somali pirates, who were captured by the Indian Navy, were handed over to Mumbai Police after due formalities of Customs and Immigration.
Visuals from the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai, showed the pirates standing in a queue as Mumbai Police assigned them chest numbers.
The operation involved a navy destroyer, a patrol ship, an Indian Air Force C-17 transporter flying more than 1,500 miles to airdrop marine commandos, a naval drone, a reconnaissance drone and a P-8 surveillance jet, the Indian Navy release said.
Somali pirates’ capture of the MV Ruen in December last year marked the first successful hijacking of a vessel off the country’s coast since 2017.
But when the Ruen, now operated by a pirate crew, last week left Somali waters with the intent of committing acts of piracy on the high seas, the Indian Navy made moves to intercept it.
Based on the analysis of the surveillance information the Indian Navy was able to track the movement of the Pirate Ship Ruen and directed INS Kolkata to intercept the ship approximately 260 Nm East of Somalia.
Kolkata intercepted Ruen in the morning of March 15, and confirmed the presence of armed pirates through a ship-launched drone.
The pirates shot down the drone and fired at the Indian Naval warship. In a calibrated response INS Kolkata disabled the ship’s steering system and navigational aids, forcing the Pirate Ship to stop.
INS Kolkata undertook precisely measured actions while maintaining her position close to the Pirate Ship and also engaged in forceful negotiations, which resulted in the Pirates surrendering and releasing the pirate ship MV Ruen and its original crew present onboard.
All 35 Somali pirates surrendered March 16. All 17 original crew members of MV Ruen were also safely evacuated from the pirate vessel without any injury.

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