Saturday, May 24, 2003 – ©2003 IranMania.com
New Delhi, May 24 – The Indian Navy has begun deploying some of its ships in the Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea to secure the country’s oil supplies, IRNA reported on Saturday.
Indian Rear Admiral Vijay Shankar spoke to reporters of the deployment on board the Indian Navy’s Delhi class destroyer INS Mumbai, which participated in a joint exercise with the Russian Navy in the Arabian Sea.
Nearly 60 percent of India’s oil supplies come from the Persian Gulf. Private Indian shipping companies have appreciated the navy’s presence in the region as it has resulted in lower premiums for their vessels passing through during the Iraq war.
Currently, at least one ship of the Western Naval Command is on forward deployment. Indian naval ships are also making port visits in the region and, recently, the INS Mumbai paid a visit to Abu Dhabi and Oman.
He said the defense establishment had taken a serious note of Chinese naval activities on India’s western and eastern flanks.
The Chinese are helping build the Gwadar port in Pakistan which can be used as a base for their warships and to protect tankers carrying oil back to China.