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Indian Navy to patrol Indian Ocean with Indonesia

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The Indian Navy would deploy a Dornier maritime patrol aircraft in the Maldives as part of the security assistance.

NEW DELHI (PTI): In the backdrop of increased piracy related incidents and illegal activities in the Indian Ocean Region, India will join littoral countries, Indonesia and Maldives, to patrol the waters to protect their maritime boundary this month.

The navies of India and Indonesia would carry out their 14th coordinated patrolling of Malacca straits region, once a piracy hit area in the Indian Ocean, from October 18 to November 5.

The Indian Navy would also deploy a Dornier maritime patrol aircraft in the Maldives as part of the security assistance New Delhi agreed to provide Male to secure its waters from pirates and threat from terror groups.

"To increase the cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region, the Indian Navy will conduct coordinated patrols of the international maritime boundary with Indonesia. The purpose of the coordinated patrols is to prevent piracy, armed robberies, poaching, illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and other illegal activities," Navy officials said here.

The Dornier aircraft would be based in Maldives from October 18 to 23 and carry out aerial patrolling of the skies in the Indian Ocean around the tiny archipelago.

"This will be the 11th deployment of an Indian Navy asset in the Maldives since January this year when New Delhi agreed to assist Male in providing it security cover following a request from Maldivian Defence Minister Ameen Faisal," they said.
"India has earlier sent its warships on rotation to Maldives to patrol their waters and this arrangement will continue," Navy officers said.

During the recent visit of Defence Minister A K Antony to Male, India had agreed to set up a chain of radars in the Maldivian atolls with a link to its Coastal Command.

The joint patrolling with Indonesia, codenamed 'IND-INDO CORPAT', would be carried out under the overall command of Andaman Nicobar Commander Vice Admiral D K Joshi and Indonesian Western Fleet Commander, they added.

In coordinated patrolling, the two sides remain inside their maritime boundaries and constantly remain in touch and keep each other updated on the movements and the situation in the sea.

For CORPAT, the Indian Navy will deploy one Landing Ship Tank (Medium) INS Mahish and a Fast Attack Craft INS Trinkat along with a naval Dornier aircraft, while Indonesia will deploy a corvette and a Dornier aircraft. The tactical command centres of the patrolling exercise will be at Port Blair and Tanjung Pinang in Indonesia.

In the early part of the century, the 300 nautical miles maritime boundary shared by the two countries was a hotbed of Indonesian Banda Aceh rebels, who attacked merchant ships passing through the region and following a spurt in piracy there, India deployed its warships to patrol Malacca straits.

The joint operations would be inaugurated at Belawan in Indonesia on October 19 and the closing ceremony would be held at Port Blair on November 4.

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