New Delhi: In a major step, the Indian Navy on Sunday said it had deployed its frontline warships, including nuclear submarines and aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, near the Pakistan waters in the Arabian Sea, which had forced the Pakistan Navy to remain close to its coastline during India-Pakistan tensions.
Navy sources said nuclear submarine INS Chakra was deployed with the Carrier Battle Group of INS Vikramaditya to provide protection to it and also be ready to thwart any offensive action.
“The exercise had commenced 7 January and was planned to be terminated by 10 March. However, the JEM-sponsored terrorist attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama on 14 February led to the rapid redeployment of the Indian Navy for Operations in North Arabian Sea,” it said.
“The major combat units of the Indian Navy, including the Carrier Battle Group with INS Vikramaditya, nuclear submarines and scores of other ships, submarines and aircraft, swiftly transited from exercise to operational deployment mode as tensions between India and Pakistan escalated,” the statement said.
It said the “overwhelming superiority of Indian Navy in all three dimensions forced the Pakistan Navy to remain deployed close to the Makran coast and not venture out in the open ocean”.
The navy said “a clear and resolute message regarding the operational posture of the Indian Navy to prevent, deter and defeat any misadventure by Pakistan in the maritime domain was also issued during the tri-services press conference conducted on 28 February.”
About 60 ships of the Indian Navy, 12 ships of the Indian Coast Guard and 60 aircraft were part of TROPEX 19.
“Availability of such a large number of combat ready assets in the theatre of operations for TROPEX allowed the Indian Navy to expeditiously respond to the developing situation in synergy with the other three services,” the navy said.