Ministry of Defence


Posted On: 16 MAR 2024 10:15PM by PIB Delhi

INS Kolkata, mission-deployed in the Arabian Sea, through the sustained high tempo of operations lasting over 40hrs, has thwarted the designs of the Somali pirates to hijack ships transiting through the region by intercepting the pirate ship MV Ruen, on 16 Mar 24. The merchant vessel had been hijacked in December 2023 and was under the control of the Somalian Pirates till now.

Indian Navy as part of the Maritime Security Operations has been carrying out extensive surveillance in the region including monitoring of traffic in Areas of Interest. Based on the analysis of the surveillance information the Indian Navy was able to track the movement of the Pirate Ship Ruen and directed INS Kolkata to intercept the ship approximately 260 Nm East of Somalia. Kolkata intercepted Ruen in the morning of 15 Mar 24, and confirmed the presence of armed pirates through a ship-launched drone. In a reckless hostile act, the pirates shot down the drone and fired at the Indian Naval warship. In a calibrated response iaw International Laws, Kolkata disabled the ship's steering system and navigational aids, forcing the Pirate Ship 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 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 AM 16 Mar 24, and also by air-dropping of the Marine Commandos (PRAHARS) by C-17 aircraft in the same afternoon. Additionally, the pirate vessel was kept under surveillance by HALE RPA and P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft. Due to sustained pressure and calibrated actions by the Indian Navy over the last 40 hours, all 35 Somali pirates surrendered PM 16 Mar 24. 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 seaworthiness of MV Ruen will be assessed in the morning on 17 Mar 2024, and the vessel which is carrying approx. 37800 T of cargo estimated at around one million dollars will be brought safely to India.

The culmination of the ongoing Anti-Piracy operation involving pirate ship Ruen in the Southern IOR highlights the commitment of the Indian Navy towards reinforcing peace and stability, and also to thwart the resurgence of Piracy in the region. The Indian Navy remains steadfast in performing its role as the 'First Responder' in IOR.


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