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Navy spots China attack submarine in Indian Ocean

China claims that such deployments are in support of its anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. The submarine is accompanied by a rescue vessel.

india Updated: Oct 16, 2018 08:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Indian Navy,Chinese submarine,Indian Ocean
Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) navy soldiers stand on a decommissioned destroyer in an aircraft carrier theme park during a celebration event on China's Navy Day at Binhai New Area, Tianjin, China, in April 2017. (Reuters File Photo)

The Indian Navy has spotted a Chinese attack submarine in the Indian Ocean, the first such sighting since last year’s Doklam border standoff, said an official familiar with the development. The Chinese navy has deployed a submarine, a Type O39A Yuan class boat, in the ocean for the first time in over a year.

China claims that such deployments are in support of its anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. The submarine is accompanied by a rescue vessel.

In an interview to HT in May, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said the People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) is here to stay in the Indian Ocean and its military movement had fuelled concerns about China’s intent in the region.

The navy keeps a sharp eye on the pattern and periodicity of extra-regional deployments in the Indian Ocean Region. A fleet of 50 combat-ready Indian warships is carrying out round-the-clock surveillance of the waters. At any given time, China has six to seven warships deployed in the region. The PLAN is known to send two conventional submarines to the area every year, Lanba had said.

Navy officials have maintained that anti-piracy patrols and freedom of navigation are the reasons cited by China for its rising presence in the region

First Published: Oct 16, 2018 08:57 IST