Anti Piracy Current Affairs - 2020

VAJRA: The Offshore Patrol Vessel-6 launched at Chennai

On February 27, 2020, the 6th Coast Guard OPV-6 (Offshore Patrol Vessel-6) called the “VAJRA” was launched in Chennai.

Highlights

The OPV will assist Indian Navy in guarding 7,500 km long coast line and 20 lakh square kilo metre of Exclusive Economic Zone. It will also help to safeguard one lakh merchant ships transiting in the Indian Ocean from all over the world.

The OPV is to be utilized for patrolling, surveying, anti-smuggling and anti-terrorist operations. The OPV has two navigational radars installed.

Indian Coast Guard

Indian Coast Guard is an armed force of India. It protects the maritime interests of India and also enforces maritime law in the territorial waters of India. The Indian Coast Guard operates under Ministry of Defence. There are 5 Indian Coast Guard Regions in India. They are Western Region (Mumbai), Eastern Region (Chennai), North-East Region (Kolkata), Andaman and Nicobar Region (Port Blair) and North-West Regions (Gandhinagar).

Oman ships arrive to participate in Indo-Oman bilateral Naval Exercise “Naseem Al-Bahr”

On January 6, 2020, two Oman ships arrived in Goa to participate in “Naseem-Al-Bahr”, the Indo-Oman bilateral naval exercise.

Highlights

RNOV are Royal Navy of Oman Vessels. RNOV al Rasikh and RNOV Khassab arrived at Goa. Along with these ships, Indian Naval Ships Shubhadra and Beas will also participate in the exercise. The Indo-Oman Naval Exercises are being conducted since 1993.

Other exercises between the countries

The countries conduct regular biennial exercises between all three services namely army, navy and air force. ”Al Najah” is the army exercise conducted between the countries. “Ex Eastern Bridge” is the Air Force exercise that is held between the countries.

Significance

The naval exercise with Oman is highly important for India. This is because of strategic location of the country. The country is at the gateway of Strait of Hormuz through which India imports one-fifth of its oil imports. The berth rights given by Oman to Indian vessels is important for the Indian Navy to carry out anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

India recently signed a pact with the country in 2018 to access the Duqm port of Oman.

India-Oman

In West-Asia, Oman is one of India’s oldest defence partners and an ally in anti-piracy campaigns. India has supplied rifles to Oman. Also, India is considering to set up a defence production unit in Oman.