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IAF's C-17 aircraft executes precision airdrop, supports Indian Navy in ongoing anti-piracy operation in Arabian Sea

New Delhi: The C-17 aircraft of the Indian Air Force executed a precision air-born drop of two boats along with Indian Navy MARCOS in the Arabian Sea in support of ongoing anti-piracy 'Operation Sankalp'.

The operation was carried out to rescue the crew of the bulk carrier vessel MV Ruen that was hijacked by Somali pirates near the Yemeni island of Socotra recently.

In a post on X, the Indian Air Force, hailing the operation, stated, "In a remarkable display of Jointness & Integration, an IAF C-17 aircraft executed a precision Airborne Drop of two Combat Rubberised Raiding Craft (CRRC) boats, along with Indian Navy MARCOS in the Arabian Sea in support of ongoing anti-piracy Op Sankalp."

"Flying for almost 10 hrs to an area 2600 kms off the Indian Coast, the Op was carried out to rescue crew of bulk carrier vessel MV Ruen. The ship was hijacked by Somali pirates near Yemeni island of Socotra recently. Working seamlessly with @indiannavy, the mission was successful with all the 17 crew on-board recovered safely," the Indian Air Force added.

The Indian Navy thwarted the piracy attempt on MV Ruen, which was under the control of Somalian pirates since last December, by safely evacuating 17 crew members and coercing 35 pirates to surrender.

The Indian Navy informed in a statement that the mission was carried out by INS Kolkata on Saturday.

"INS Kolkata, a mission deployed in the Arabian Sea, through the sustained high tempo of operations, has thwarted the designs of the Somali pirates to hijack ships transiting through the region by intercepting the pirate ship MV Ruen, on March 16. The merchant vessel had been hijacked in December 2023 and was under the control of the Somalian Pirates till now," the statement read.

Earlier, the navy informed that the Indian warship INS Kolkata successfully cornered and coerced all 35 pirates to surrender, ensuring the safe evacuation of 17 crew members from the pirate vessel without any injury.

In the rescue operation, which lasted for the last 40 hours, INS Kolkata intercepted the under-attack pirate ship Ruen, sailing almost 2600 km from the shores of the Indian Coast, and forced the pirate ship to stop through calibrated actions.
In the action to safely rescue the crew members and take full control of the distressed vessel, the operation was supported by the Indian warship INS Subhadra, High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE RPA) drones, P8I maritime patrol aircraft, and MARCOS PRAHARs airdropped by C-17 aircraft.

Later, the vessel was also sanitised for the presence of illegal arms, ammunition, and contraband. 

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