The Indian Navy's INS Sumitra recently rescued fishermen hijacked by pirates along the east coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden.
About INS Sumitra:
- It is the fourth and last Saryu-class patrol vessel of the Indian Navy.
- It is based on an indigenous design and constructed by Goa Shipyard Limited.
- It was commissioned in 2014 and is based in Chennai under the Eastern Naval Command.
- The primary role of the ship is to undertake surveillance of the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) besides other operational tasks such as anti-piracy patrols, fleet support operations, maritime security of offshore assets, and escort operations.
- Measuring about 105 metres in length, 13 metres in breadth, and displacing 2,200 tonnes, the ship can achieve a speed of 25 knots.
- The ship has a range of 6,500 nautical miles.
- It is propelled by two diesel engines.
- The ship’s weapon and sensor outfits include a 76.2 mm gun (super rapid gun mount), close-in weapon systems, and the latest navigational and early warning radars.
- It is capable of embarking one Dhruv/Chetak helicopter.
- It is also equipped with two rigid inflatable fast-motor boats.
Key Facts about Gulf of Aden:
- It is an extension of the Indian Ocean, tucked between the Arabian Peninsula and the African continent.
- The gulf is named after “Aden,” a port city on Yemen’s coast.
- Borders: It is bounded to the south by Somalia and the Socotra Islands (part of Yemen), to the north by Yemen, to the east by the Arabian Sea, and to the west by Djibouti.
- The gulf is connected to the Somali Sea to the south by the Guardafui Channel and to the Red Sea on the west by the Strait of Bab el Mandeb.
- The dominant relief feature of the gulf’s terrain is the Sheba Ridge, an extension of the Indian Ocean ridge system, which extends along the middle of the gulf.
- It is also a critical part of the Suez Canal shipping route, which connects the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
Q1: What is an exclusive economic zone (EEZ)?
EEZ, as defined under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), is an area of the ocean extending up to 200 nautical miles (370 km) immediately offshore from a country’s land coast in which that country retains exclusive rights to the exploration and exploitation of natural resources.