Andrew Orchard, for The Diplomat

India has deployed a beefed-up naval presence to the western Indian Ocean in response to threats to global shipping. China is not happy about it.

In response to threats to maritime shipping in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) – particularly stepped-up attacks on civilian vessels from the Houthis in Yemen – the Indian Navy (IN) has deployed a force comparable to the U.S.-led Operation Prosperity Guardian.

Operating under national authority, ten or more IN ships with reconnaissance aircraft now patrol the western Indian Ocean, conducting counter-piracy operations. The task force also “maintains a deterrent presence” against threats to shipping. To date, the IN has thwarted multiple pirate attacks and helped seafarers in need.

Retired Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla argued the ongoing operations prove India is a proactive contributor to the international community and a maritime power.

The Houthi attacks and uptick in piracy demonstrate the importance of securing sea lines of communication (SLOC) for India, particularly in the Indian Ocean Region. Retired Admiral Arun Prakash thus sees the current situation as an opportunity to reexamine India’s IOR maritime strategy.

The remainder of the article can be read here at The Diplomat

Andrew Orchard

Andrew Orchard is a U.S. Navy officer and current Mansfield Fellow. The views expressed in the article are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Navy, Department of Defense, the U.S. Government, The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, Japan Forum for Strategic Studies, or Government of Japan.

Feature image: via Indian Navy