Indian Navy deploys three warships amid increased attacks on merchant ships in the Arabian Sea

The Indian Navy deployed P-8I long-range patrol aircraft and warships INS Mormugao, INS Kochi, and INS Kolkata in the Arabian Sea off India’s west coast for continued surveillance and to maintain a ‘deterrent presence’, media reported, citing officials.

Indian Navy deploys three warships in Arabian Sea. Photo Courtesy Pixabay

The Indian Navy’s response came after Liberian-flagged MV Chem Pluto was confirmed to have been struck by a drone 400 km off the Indian coastline. The attacks on commercial vessels in the Arabian Sea has increased in the past days, NDTV reported.

The vessel was reportedly carrying crude oil to the New Mangalore port from the Al Jubail port in Saudi Arabia.

On its arrival, an explosive ordnance disposal team of the Navy carried out a detailed inspection of the ship, the NDTV report said.

Initial examination indicates a drone attack and further forensic and technical analysis will be needed to ascertain further details.

The ship, with 21 crew members, 20 Indian and one Vietnamese, arrived at the Mumbai port under the protection of the Indian Coast Guard ship Vikram.

Earlier, the Pentagon openly accused Iran of targeting the tanker ship with a drone, which is the first such accusation since the start of Israel’s war on Hamas.

The drone strike came amid a series of drone and missile attacks by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels on the Red Sea shipping lane in solidarity with Gaza where Israel and Hamas have been warring since October 7.