Showing that it keeps a constant watch on all activities in the Indian Ocean, the Indian Navy today tweeted a “warm welcome” to the 29th Anti-Piracy Escort Force of People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) as it entered the region.
#MaritimeDomainAwareness @indiannavy extends a warm welcome to the 29th Anti-Piracy Escort Force (APEF) of PLA(N) in Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Happy Hunting @SpokespersonMoD @DefenceMinIndia @IAF_MCC @adgpi @IndiaCoastGuard @IndianDiplomacy pic.twitter.com/7NTW4TwQuW— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) April 17, 2018
This move comes just months after the Indian Navy operationalised its new ‘mission-based deployment' plan to counter increasing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean. Under this plan, the Navy has deployed combat-ready ships and aircraft along important sea-lanes of communications and 'choke points' in the Indian Ocean to maintain a continuous presence and monitor activities of foreign powers.
#MissionBasedDeployments From Persian Gulf to Malacca Straits & from Northern Bay of Bengal to Southern Indian Ocean to East coast of Africa @indiannavy with 50 ships on vigil 24X7 keep our Area of Responsibility (AOR) safe. @indiannavy Anytime, Anywhere Everytime @nsitharaman pic.twitter.com/rxmBAed5Sa— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) April 17, 2018
Supported by naval satellite Rukmini (GSAT-7), 12 to 15 destroyers, frigates, corvettes and large patrol vessels are now permanently positioned in the ocean.
The plan was adopted in response to increasing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean. According to reports, a large number of surface vessels and submarines - both nuclear and conventional - have been spotted by the Indian Navy in the last few years. By some accounts, China had also sent a flotilla to deter India from intervening in the Maldives and signal its support for President Abdulla Yameen.
In this context, the Indian Navy’s tweet seems to be an attempt to showcase the improved Maritime Domain Awareness capabilities of the force.
“Happy hunting”, the Indian Navy wished the PLAN task force.