Indian Navy preliminary investigations suggests that MV Chem Pluto suffered a drone attack on 23 December. With increasing number of attacks in red sea, Indian navy has deployed its warships to deter attackers.
MV Chem Pluto, (Liberian Flag Chemical/lOil Tanker), carrying 21 Indian and 01 Vietnamese crew, earlier reported as attacked by suspected drone on 23 Dec 23, reached Mumbai and anchored safely at Outer Anchorage off Mumbai at 1530hr on 25 Dec 23.
On her arrival, the Indian Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal team inspected the vessel to make a preliminary assessment of the type and nature of attack.
Analysis of the area of attack and debris found on the ship points towards a drone attack. However, further forensic and technical analysis will be required to establish the vector of attack, including type and amount of explosive used.
A Joint Investigation by various agencies has commenced on completion of the analysis by the Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Team.
MV Chem Pluto has been cleared for further operation by her company-in-charge at Mumbai. The ship is scheduled to undergo mandatory checks by the various inspecting authorities before undertaking Ship to Ship (STS) transfer of cargo.
This is likely to be followed by docking and repairs of the damaged portion of MV Chem Pluto.
Considering the recent spate of attacks in the Arabian Sea, Indian Navy has deployed Guided Missile Destroyers, INS Mormugao, INS Kochi and INS Kolkata (Guided Missile Destroyers) in various areas to maintain a deterrent presence. Long-range maritime reconnaissance P8I aircraft are being regularly tasked to maintain domain awareness.
Western Naval Command’s Maritime Operations Centre is actively monitoring the situation in close coordination with Coast Guard and all concerned agencies.