On Friday, international media reported that Indian warships entered the Hormuz Straits amid rising tensions between the U.S.
According to reports, the Navy has re-deployed several of its warships to the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf to reassure Indian vessels operating and transiting in the region.
At least one destroyer and patrol vessel are among the Indian warships now in the area. “INS Chennai and INS Sunayna have been deployed in the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf to undertake maritime security operations. In addition, aerial surveillance by IN aircraft is also being undertaken in the area,” the Navy said in an official statement. The Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region, which was created by the Indian Navy in December, 2018 at Gurugram, was reportedly keeping a close watch on the movement of ships in the Gulf region, it added. In addition to the ship deployments, aerial surveillance by Indian Navy aircraft was also being undertaken in the area, it confirmed.
The news of India’s substantial operations around the Strait of Hormuz came a day after reports that an American drone was downed in the area by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.
With this backdrop in mind, the motives for India taking action are clear. India’s strategic and security interests are closely linked to the Indian Ocean Region and the ability for maritime vessels to get there from the Persian Gulf. The country’s energy security (like that of many other regional countries) is also linked to the safety and security of ships while operating and transiting in the region.
India getting involved in the area highlights the volatile nature of the Iran-U.S. schism and its centering around Hormuz. The Strait is a waterway of tremendous international importance, a fact that will cause other states to quickly get involved if any actual conflict in the region should occur.