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MARCOS, the marine commando force of the Indian Navy, performs a mock drill inside an oil installation at Kakinada as part of naval operational display on Wednesday.
VISAKHAPATNAM: The Navy is providing protection to Indian merchant vessels effectively against attack by pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
According to Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, Rear Admiral P. Murugesan, INS Rajput is deployed in the Gulf of Aden to safeguard Indian vessels. It will return after three months of patrolling, when another ship will be sent there.
“About 90 per cent of India's $500 billion international trade is across the oceans. You know what is happening in the Gulf of Aden. Pirates are holding big merchant vessels and passengers to ransom. INS Rajput, one of the ships of our Eastern Fleet, is now deployed there for patrolling. All our merchant vessels are safe under the surveillance of the Indian Navy,” he told media onboard INS Jalashwa on Wednesday.
Similar services would be extended to other international ships.
Asked how the country was able to maintain old ships — such as Jalashwa purchased from the United States — he said that during the last three years since the purchase of the amphibious assault ship, all maintenance and repairs had been done locally.
Rear Admiral Murugesan also explained that it would take eight to 10 years to build a Landing Platform Dock (LPD) similar to the INS Jalashwa, right from the drawing to the commissioning of the ship. Now, new ships were being built on a par with those in any other country, in terms of technology, weaponry, sensors, etc.
“I can assure you, INS Delhi, Mysore and Mumbai built by the Mazagon Dock Limited, India's prime shipyard, are on a par with the best in the world.
The replacement of an LPD of the Jalashwa type will be by LPDs built by Indian shipyards,” he said.
Commanding Officer of INS Jalashwa Captain Alok Bhatnagar was present.
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