NATO reassesses its operations in Gulf of Aden to curb piracy

November 20, 2008

INS Tabar and MV JAg Arnav(ChattahBox) — The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is reassessing its operations in the region surrounding the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden to curb the piracy attacks. Navies of India, Russia, Britain and Germany have already battled pirate vessels in the Gulf of Aden in last 10 days alone.

Yesterday, an Indian warship sunk the pirate “mother vessel” . The Indian warship blew up a suspected pirate ship after the bandits threatened to destroy the naval ship, INS Tabar, and opened fire. In the wake of increased pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden, Indian Navy has deployed its warships on patrol duties on October 23, with a mandate to intervene if any Indian vessel was in distress. The decision came after the MV Stolt Valor, was hijacked by pirates along with 18 crew members who were all Indians.

Meanwhile, the Western navies have also stepped up their actions against hijackers. “This hijacking could really change the picture and we could see much more proactive rules of engagement,” said Hans Tino Hansen, Managing Director of Risk Intelligence, a maritime security consultant based in Vedbaek, Denmark. “The whole focus on the problem has exploded.”

The International Maritime Bureau has also made an appeal to the international community to take concrete measures to curb the latest rampant surge of piracy activities. The European Union has responded to the call and has agreed to deploy air and naval force off the coast of Somalia to guard the sea lanes against piracy. NATO has already sent a fleet to protect food shipments to Somalia.

The South Korean government declared that it plans to combat piracy and intends to deploy 4500 ton destroyer loaded with SM-2 Block IIIA missiles and other cutting edge weaponry as well as the Navy’s Special Forces. 83 ships have been attacked so far in the region, of which 33 were hijacked, and 12 are still in custody of pirates along with 250 crew members.


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