India’s recent deployment of an expanded maritime force in the Arabian Sea marks a strategic enhancement of its naval capabilities, reflecting its global aspirations and geopolitical positioning. Drone footage showcasing Indian commandos responding to a pirate attack underscores India’s active participation in the Red Sea. These commandos, dispatched from an Indian-built warship, were mobilized following an attempted hijacking of a merchant vessel.
This expansion is viewed as a direct response to China’s growing influence in the region, especially through its Belt and Road Initiative and the establishment of its first overseas military base in Djibouti in 2017. India, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, is seeking to bolster its global standing, particularly as it surpassed China as the most populous country and maintains its position as the world’s fifth-largest economy.
The Indian Navy’s increased presence in the Arabian Sea includes three guided-missile destroyers and P-8I reconnaissance aircraft, demonstrating a substantial augmentation of naval forces. This deployment is not just a reactionary measure to piracy but is indicative of India’s desire to assert itself as a key player in regional security and development. The navy has been actively engaging in anti-piracy operations since 2008, showcasing its capability to protect vital shipping lanes.