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Indian Navy Sends Three Warships to Arabian Sea, Confirms Drone Strike on MV Chem Pluto Tanker

Upon its arrival at Mumbai harbor, the Navy's bomb disposal team conducted a comprehensive inspection of the Liberian-flagged vessel. This inspection took place two days after the ship was hit by a drone in the Arabian Sea while on its way to New Mangalore port.

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New Delhi, Dec 26 (Siliguri Journal) – A drone struck the chemical tanker MV Chem Pluto close to India’s west coast. The Indian Navy inspected the ship at Mumbai harbor and is conducting a detailed investigation to find out more about the attack, such as its origin and the amount of explosive used.

The Navy’s bomb disposal team thoroughly examined the Liberian-flagged vessel upon its arrival at Mumbai harbor. This occurred two days after a drone struck the ship in the Arabian Sea as it was en route to New Mangalore port.

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On Sunday, a Pentagon spokesperson reported that MV Chem Pluto was struck by a “one-way attack drone fired from Iran.” In response to increased attacks on commercial vessels in the Arabian Sea, the Navy deployed P-8I long-range patrol aircraft for surveillance. Warships INS Mormugao, INS Kochi, and INS Kolkata were positioned in the area to maintain “a deterrent presence,” according to Navy officials.

The Saturday drone attack on MV Chem Pluto coincided with rising concerns about commercial vessels being targeted, allegedly by Iran-backed Houthi militants in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.

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The vessel, carrying 21 Indian and one Vietnamese crew, anchored off Mumbai at 3:30 pm and was escorted by the Indian Coast Guard ship ICGS Vikram on its way to Mumbai.

Upon arrival, the Indian Navy explosive ordnance disposal team conducted an initial assessment, suggesting a probable drone attack based on the analysis of the attack area and debris found on the ship.

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The spokesperson mentioned that further forensic and technical analysis is necessary to determine specific details of the attack, such as the type and amount of explosive used.

Following the explosive ordnance team’s analysis, a joint investigation by various agencies has commenced.

“MV Chem Pluto has been cleared for further operation by her company-in-charge at Mumbai. The ship is scheduled to undergo mandatory checks by the various inspecting authorities before undertaking ship to ship transfer of cargo,” he stated.

“This is likely to be followed by docking and repairs of the damaged portion of MV Chem Pluto,” he added.

To counter the rising attacks on commercial vessels in the region, the official announced the deployment of three guided missile destroyers in the Arabian Sea.

MV Chem Pluto, transporting crude oil from Al Jubail port in Saudi Arabia to New Mangalore port, was struck about 217 nautical miles from Porbandar on Saturday. Luckily, no injuries were reported.

In a distinct incident, a Gabon-flagged commercial crude oil tanker with 25 Indian crew members also encountered a drone attack in the Southern Red Sea on Saturday. Fortunately, there were no reported injuries, as confirmed by Indian officials and the US military.

Responding to the recent increase in attacks in the Arabian Sea, the Indian Navy has strategically stationed guided missile destroyers, including INS Mormugao, INS Kochi, and INS Kolkata, to maintain a deterrent presence in various areas, as confirmed by the official.

He also noted that long-range maritime reconnaissance P8I aircraft are consistently deployed to ensure continuous domain awareness.

The Maritime Operations Centre of the Western Naval Command is actively overseeing the situation in close collaboration with the Coast Guard and all relevant agencies, he added.

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Sk Sahiluddin
Sk Sahiluddinhttps://www.siligurijournal.com
Sk Sahiluddin is a seasoned journalist and media professional with a passion for delivering accurate and impactful news coverage to a global audience. As the Editor of Siliguri Journal, he plays a pivotal role in shaping the editorial direction and ensuring the highest journalistic standards are upheld.
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