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Indian Navy welcomes Iranian Moudge class frigate IRIS Dena.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the Indian MoD on February 20, 2024, the Indian Navy has extended a warm welcome to the Iranian Navy's Moudge class frigate IRIS Dena, as it arrived in Visakhapatnam.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Moudge class frigate IRIS Dena. (Picture source: Indian Navy)

Since December, the Indian Navy has been at the forefront of anti-piracy operations in the Red Sea, showcasing its commitment to maritime security and international cooperation.

The INS Sumitra, an Indian warship, has played a crucial role in these efforts, responding to at least 17 pirate hijacking incidents. Notably, in a span of 36 hours this past week, it successfully rescued two Iranian-flagged vessels, the Al Naeemi among them, safeguarding 36 crew members from pirate clutches.

India's proactive stance in the Red Sea region, particularly highlighted by these recent rescues, aligns with statements from India’s Foreign Minister, S. Jaishankar, emphasizing the country's responsibility towards regional stability.

This approach also reflects India's nuanced diplomacy, balancing its longstanding ties with Iran against the backdrop of rising piracy threats and regional conflicts, notably the recent escalation with the Houthis in Yemen.

The resurgence of piracy in the Red Sea has prompted international action, with nearly 20 countries joining the U.S.-led "Operation Prosperity Guardian" to ensure the safe passage of vessels. Yet, India's participation remains measured, prioritizing its diplomatic relationship with Iran and focusing its maritime efforts on combating piracy rather than engaging in broader military operations against the Houthis or other politically-backed groups.

The Indian Navy's strategy prioritizes the safety of commercial shipping routes in the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea, employing an array of naval assets for surveillance and protection duties. This includes not only warships but also marine patrol aircraft and drones for comprehensive monitoring of maritime traffic.

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