INS Trikand is currently deployed in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman as part of Operation Sankalp
About Operation Sankalp
- In the backdrop of the deteriorating security situation in the Gulf region, post attacks on merchant ships in the Gulf of Oman in June 2019, Indian Navy had commenced Maritime Security Operations, code-named Op SANKALP, in the Gulf Region on 19 June 2019 to ensure the safe passage of Indian Flag Vessels transiting through the Strait of Hormuz.
- The operation was initiated in the aftermath of escalating tension in the Gulf of Oman where two oil tankers were attacked.Further,the tensions in the Middle East are again on the rise after the US had killed Iran’s major general Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike
- Indian Navy Ships INS Chennai and INS Sunayna were deployed to undertake maritime security operations in the Gulf of Oman and the Gulf of Persia.
- Further more,Indian Naval aircraft aerial surveillance is also being carried out in the region.
- Indian Navy warships and aircraft were deployed to establish a presence, provide a sense of reassurance to the Indian merchantmen, monitor the ongoing situation and respond to any emergent crises. One warship is presently deployed for Operation SANKALP.
- The operation is being progressed in close coordination with all stakeholders including Ministry of Defence, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and DG, Shipping. Regular Inter-Ministerial meetings have been held to review the evolving Maritime Security Situation in the Gulf region.
Strait of Hormuz
- The waterway separates Iran and Oman, linking the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.
- The Strait is 33 km wide at its narrowest point, but the shipping lane is just three km wide in either direction.
- Most crude exported from Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE, Kuwait and Iraq – all members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – is shipped through this waterway.
- It is also the route used for nearly all the liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced by the world’s biggest LNG exporter, Qatar.
- The UAE and Saudi Arabia have sought to find other routes to bypass the Strait, including building more oil pipelines.
About Persian Gulf:
- Persian Gulf is also called as the Arabian Gulf.The Gulf is an extension of the Indian Ocean(Gulf of Oman) through the Strait of Hormuz and lies between Iran to the northeast and the Arabian Peninsula to the southwest.
- It is bordered on the north, northeast and east by Iran, on the southeast and south by part of Oman and the United Arab Emirates; on the southwest and west by Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia and on the northwest by Kuwait and Iraq.
- The area has approximately two-thirds of the world’s estimated proven oil reserves and one-third of the world’s estimated proven natural gas reserves.
- A considerable amount of sea trade passes through the gulf, leading to heavy traffic in the region.
About Gulf of Oman:
- The Gulf of Oman or Sea of Oman is a gulf that connects the Arabian Sea with the Strait of Hormuz, which then connects to the Persian Gulf.
- It borders Iran and Pakistan on the north,Oman on the south and the United Arab Emirates on the west.
- It offers the only entrance from the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean into the Persian Gulf, thus the world’s major oil exporters and importers have a joint interest in its security.