07:54 GMT21 October 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The Indian Navy has enhanced its surveillance procedures after Forbes reported that the Chinese Navy had deployed at least 12 underwater drones in the Indian Ocean. In December 2019, navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh warned that any vessels entering India’s Exclusive Economic Zone would be forced to withdraw.

    The Indian Navy has tracked a Chinese vessel near India’s strategic Andaman Islands after it passed through the Strait of Malacca on Tuesday.

    The Indian news agency ANI reported that Indian Navy warships were tracking a Chinese Navy Type Y-901 class vessel.

    The Type Y-901 is a large combat support ship which is fitted with five wet cargo transfer stations for fuel and water and two dry cargo stations.

    The development comes a day after Forbes reported that China had deployed at least 12 underwater “Sea Wing” drones in the Indian Ocean. The drones can play crucial role in submarine warfare.

    Forbes reported that the long-range Sea Wing drones had made “more than 3,400 observations” for a “joint ocean and ecology research project”.

    Indian Navy sources said on Monday that they they “could not vouch for the authenticity” of the Forbes report.

    In December 2019, Chief Admiral Karambir Singh confirmed that Indian Navy warships chased away a Chinese research vessel as it entered India’s Exclusive Economic Zone in the Bay of Bengal. Admiral Karambir Singh said at the time: "If anyone operates in our region, they have to notify us first."

    India opened a third air base on the Andaman Islands last year to beef-up surveillance of Chinese fleet activity in the Indian Ocean. There have been reports of Chinese ships and submarines entering the the area. China claims that it deploys subs and warships to the region for international anti-piracy missions.

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    Tags:
    Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bay of Bengal, warships, navy, Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), Indian Ocean, China, India
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