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, the Indian Navy had commenced Maritime Security Operations, code-named Op SANKALP, in the Gulf Region on 19 June 2019 to ensure safe passage of Indian Flag Vessels transiting through the Strait of Hormuz.
In the trade routes for a merchant ship sailing in an area of high tension, especially under threat of attack, the presence of a warship flying the flag of the same nationality is a highly reassuring sign.
The deployment of Indian Naval warships in the Persian Gulf to ensure the safety of Indian Flag Merchant Vessels carrying both import and export cargo after the attack on merchant ships in the Gulf of Oman is a case in point. These deployments under Operation Sankalp, which commenced on 19 June 2019, are aimed at protecting Indian Flag Merchant Vessels and ensuring their safe passage in the Gulf region and through the Strait of Hormuz.
‘Sankalp’, is a Sanskrit word that means “Commitment” and is in standing with the Indian Navy’s aim to protect India’s shipping and trade, which is clearly reflected as one of the National Maritime Interests espoused in the Indian Navy’s unclassified Strategy Document, “Ensuring Secure Seas: Indian Maritime Security Strategy”.