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Navy sends more ships from Eastern fleet for deployment in Indian Ocean region

Amid tensions with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, the Indian Navy has sent out additional ships from its Eastern fleet for deployment in the Indian Ocean Region, ThePrint has learnt.

The move comes at a time when India has put its military machinery on high alert following the deadly clash in the Galwan Valley late Monday evening that led to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers.

Defence sources told ThePrint that apart from ships that are routinely at sea on various missions, the Navy has instructed other ships to sail out. The sources did not reveal the number of ships, or where they have moved, or for what purpose.

However, they did say both the Eastern and Western naval commands are in a “heightened state of alertness” — which means ships can be deployed on short notice for operations.

ThePrint reached the Indian Navy for comment through calls and text messages Wednesday, but is yet to receive an official response.

‘More ships than normal’

A source confirmed that the number of ships now operationally deployed is “more than normal”.

“Also, there are various fleet exercises at sea during peacetime, and their deployment is such that they can always turn around and be operationally available when needed,” the source said.

For instance, after the Balakot air strikes, the Navy, which was carrying out a major theatre level exercise (TROPEX), was immediately deployed in an operational role in the northern Arabian Sea.

The decision to raise the alert level of the three forces were taken at a high-level meeting held by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs Tuesday, following deliberations held at the level of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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