Almost 40-hour long high tempo operation 2,600 km away from the Indian coast that saw Indian Navy air dropping its elite Marcos commandos and two combat rubberised raiding craft for the final assault led to the surrender of 35 armed Somalian pirates who had hijacked merchant vessel MV Ruen last December and was using it for piracy since then.

The successful mission ‘Sankalp’ was also a reflection the jointness of armed forces as the Indian Navy took the help of Indian Air Force’s C-17 heavy airlift aircraft to airdrop Marcos commandos for taking over the pirate ship.

INS Kolkata

Based on the analysis of the surveillance information, the Indian Navy tracked the movement of the pirate ship Ruen and directed stealth guided-missile destroyer INS Kolkata deployed in Arabian Sea to engage it approximately 260 nautical miles East of Somalia. The INS Kolkata intercepted Ruen in the morning of March 15 and confirmed the presence of armed pirates through a ship-launched remotely piloted aircraft (RPA).

In a reckless hostile act, the pirates shot down the drone and fired at the Indian Naval warship. The Navy retaliated and disabled the ship’s steering system and navaids, forcing it to stop.

“INS Kolkata undertook precisely measured actions while maintaining her position close to the pirate ship and also engaged in forceful negotiations, which resulted in the pirates surrendering and releasing the pirate ship MV Ruen and its original crew present onboard,” the Indian Navy said on Sunday.

Anti-piracy operation

The efforts of the Indian Navy in the ongoing anti-piracy operation 1400 nm (2600 km) from mainland India were augmented by the deployment of INS Subhadra in the area on Saturday morning, and also by air-dropping of the Marine Commandos (PRAHARS) by C-17 aircraft in the same afternoon.

The Indian Navy stated that due to sustained pressure and calibrated actions by the Indian Navy over the last 40 hours, all 35 Somali pirates surrendered on March 16 evening. All 17 original crew members of MV Ruen were also safely evacuated from the pirate vessel without any injury.

The vessel has also been sanitised for the presence of illegal arms, ammunition and contraband.

The culmination of the ongoing anti-piracy operation involving Ruen in the southern Indian Ocean Region highlights the commitment of the Indian Navy towards reinforcing peace and stability, and also to thwart the resurgence of piracy in the region.