Paradip (Orissa): The Indian Navy warships stationed in the Gulf of Aden to protect Indian merchant ships from frequent attacks by Somali pirates will remain in the region until a permanent solution is worked out, a senior Navy officer said.
"The two warships at the Gulf of Aden will protect Indian ships from Somali pirates. The Indian Navy is concerned that the Indian exports are not affected due to some hooligans. Once the warships give protection to the Indian ships, no one will dare come near the merchant ships," Rear Admiral P Murugesan, the flag officer commanding of the Indian Nay`s Eastern Fleet, told visiting journalists Sunday on board the INS Jalashwa off this port city in Orissa.
The two warships would guide Indian merchant ships to safety. They function alternatively to protect Indian interests in the danger zone and each ship carries 400 officers on board, Murugesan said.
"Two ships from Western Fleet would remain positioned at the Gulf of Aden. One ship would continue for 30-40 days and the other one will replace the ship after it completes the duration without any time gap," he added.
Murugesan said that the UN and other countries are chalking out a permanent solution to the "trade interruptions" due to the attacks by pirates. The Indian Navy would continue to give protection till a permanent solution is reached, he added.
INS Jalashwa is an amphibious assault ship that is capable of carrying and transporting 1,000 combat troops, tanks, artillery and vehicles to support operations ashore. It is equipped with Landing Craft Mechanized LCM-8. It is also capable of leading humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions.