Analysts Suggest India’s Exceptional Special Forces Displayed in Pirate Ship Capture

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Indian Navy’s Anti-Piracy Operation Reflects World-Class Special Forces Capabilities, Analysts Say

The recent rescue mission conducted by the Indian Navy to save a commercial ship from pirates off the coast of Somalia has garnered praise from analysts, showcasing India’s military prowess comparable to some of the best forces globally.

According to an Indian Navy statement, the operation successfully rescued 17 crew members of the MV Ruen during a nearly two-day anti-piracy operation, with no casualties reported. Numerous pirates were apprehended during the operation.

The intricate operation involved the deployment of a navy destroyer, a patrol ship, an Indian Air Force C-17 transporter flying over 1,500 miles to airdrop marine commandos, along with naval and reconnaissance drones, and a P-8 surveillance jet.

Analyst John Bradford, a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs fellow, commended the operation, highlighting the coordinated use of various assets to minimize risks effectively.

The security situation in the Red Sea, exacerbated by attacks from Yemen-based Houthi rebels, raises concerns about the potential resurgence of Somali piracy. This poses a significant threat to the global economy, particularly given the vulnerability of nations like Yemen and Somalia, plagued by prolonged civil strife.

The capture of MV Ruen by Somali pirates in December marked the first successful hijacking in the region since 2017. Tracking efforts by Spanish, Japanese, and Indian warships led to the vessel’s location in Somali territorial waters.

When the pirate-operated Ruen attempted piracy on the high seas, the Indian Navy intervened. The destroyer INS Kolkata, equipped with ship-launched drones, confirmed the presence of armed pirates onboard the Ruen.

Following hostile actions by the pirates, including firing at the Indian warship and destroying a drone, the Kolkata responded by disabling the Ruen’s navigation systems. Indian marine commandos were then deployed after a 10-hour flight from India, effectively sealing the pirates’ surrender.

Bulgarian leaders, including President Rumen Radev, expressed gratitude to India for its swift action in rescuing the hijacked ship and its crew.

Analyst Carl Schuster praised the professionalism of the Indian Navy and its MARCOS commando force, emphasizing their training modeled after elite units like Britain’s SAS.

Given India’s extensive experience in anti-piracy operations spanning over two decades, analysts anticipate continued involvement in maintaining maritime security in the region. Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Shri Randhir Jaiswal reiterated India’s commitment to safeguarding economic interests through consistent monitoring and naval engagement in ensuring commercial vessel safety.

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