Archive for the ‘Arabian Sea’ Category

US maintaining naval-air-marine might in Arabian Sea opposite India, Pakistan, Iran

December 1, 2008

Three US aircraft carriers with strike groups, task forces and nuclear submarines have piled up in the waters of the Arabian Sea opposite the shores of India, Pakistan and Iran, and in the Persian Gulf.

DEBKAfile‘s military sources report that the US began massing this formidable array of floating firepower at the outset of the Islamist terrorist attack on the Indian city of Mumbai last Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Tehran responded typically with a threat of retaliation should the Americans decide to use the Mumbai terrorist attack to hit Iran.

It is more likely, according to our military sources, that the Americans are on the ready in case the rising tensions between India and Pakistan over the New Delhi’s charge of Pakistani involvement in the Mumbai atrocity explodes into an armed clash on their border.

This is indicated by the units now deployed:

1. the USS John C. Stennis, which carries 80 fighter-bombers and 3,200 sailors and airmen and leads a strike group..

This carrier joins two already there, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which patrols the northern Arabian Sea, part of whose strike group cruises opposite Iran’s southern coast; and the USS Iwo Jima, which carries a large marine contingent on board.

2. New to these waters, according to DEBKAfile‘s military sources, is the Destroyer Squadron 50/CTF 55, which has two task forces: Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA) for strikes against warships and the rapid deployment of marines to flashpoint arenas; and Mine Countermeasures Division 31, which stands ready to prevent New Delhi or Islamabad from mining the Arabian Sea routes connecting their ports. Those routes are vital waterways for US marine traffic supporting the war in Afghanistan.

3. To manage this armada, the command and control vessel, USS Mount Whitney, has been brought over from the Mediterranean.

4. Four nuclear submarines.

The arrival of the southwest Asian marine patrol carrier Stennis and the Mount Whitney to the Arabian Sea opposite Iran’s shores set alarm bells ringing in Tehran. Our Iranian sources note that the Islamic republic’s rulers remember that after al Qaeda’s attack on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, the Americans did not only invade Afghanistan, but also Iraq and they fear a similar sideswipe.

The Iranian chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Ataoallah Salehi sounded a warning when he stated Sunday, Nov. 30: The “heavy weight” of enemy warships provides the Iranian side with an ideal opportunity for launching successful counter-attacks.

Related:
Iran Holds Military Games Near Hormuz Strait


Above: U.S. Navy operates at sea with allies…

U.S. Navy cruisers carry long range cruise missiles.  Seen here: USS Gettysburg

See the DEPKA file:
http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=5747

India navy defends piracy sinking

November 26, 2008

The Indian navy has defended its action in sinking a ship near Somalia that maritime officials have confirmed was a hijacked Thai fishing boat.

The International Maritime Bureau said the Ekawat Nava 5 had been captured by pirates earlier in the day on 18 November and the crew was tied up.

An Indian Navy picture shows an alleged pirate vessel burning ... 
An Indian Navy picture shows an alleged pirate vessel burning after being hit during anti-piracy operations at sea in the Gulf of Aden on November 18. A maritime watchdog said Wednesday that the Indian navy had attacked and sunk a Thai fishing trawler after mistaking it for a Somali pirate “mother vessel” in the Gulf of Aden.(AFP/Indian Navy/Ho/File)

BBC

One crewman was found alive after six days adrift but 14 are still missing.

The Indian navy says the INS Tabar fired upon a pirate ship threatening it

The Indian navy said the ship was a pirate vessel in “description and intent” and had opened fire first.

India is one of several countries currently patrolling the Gulf of Aden, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, amid increasing attacks by Somali pirates.

Almost 40 ships have been seized this year, the biggest the Saudi oil tanker, Sirius Star, which is still being held off the Somali coast.

File photo of the Indian naval warship INS Tabar. A maritime ... 
File photo of the Indian naval warship INS Tabar. A maritime watchdog said Wednesday that the Indian navy had attacked and sunk a Thai fishing trawler after mistaking it for a Somali pirate “mother vessel” in the Gulf of Aden.(AFP/Indian Navy/Ho/File)

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7749486.stm

What to Do About Piracy, Pirates?

November 26, 2008

By James A. Lyons
The Washington Times

The latest hijacking of the newly commissioned Saudi Aramco mega-tanker, the Sirius Star, 450 nautical miles southeast of Mombasa, Kenya, in the Indian Ocean has raised the issue of piracy to a new level.

The tanker’s displacement is 3 times that of a U.S. aircraft carrier. Piracy hijackings in maritime choke points have gone on for years. The Straits of Malacca in Southeast Asia had been a favorite pirate area until brought under acceptable control by the countries in the area, led by Singapore. With no functioning government, pirate attacks along the southeastern coast of Somali have long been a problem.

What’s different is that the Somali pirates have expanded their area of operations into the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and now the Indian Ocean (I.O.). The ability of the pirates to intercept this mega-tanker so far out in the I.O. suggests they were able to obtain either track information from an outside source or they were electronically able to intercept the ship’s Automatic Identification System (AIS). The AIS system is driven by Radio Frequencies (RD) that can be intercepted and tracked by any ship with an RF intercept capability.

The Gulf of Aden has become the most dangerous transit route for maritime ships in the world. As a result, it has interrupted traditional maritime routes causing interest rates to jump and has significantly raised the operating costs to ship operators.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/
nov/26/countering-piracy/