The Adelaide class equiped missile frigate HMAS Melborne has defeated a pirate attack in the Arabian Sea, a body of Indian Ocean water between the Arabian peninsula, Africa and India.
Australian Ministry of Defence (MoD) says in a statement that “when HMAS Melbourne was initially alerted to the incident it was approximately 267km north of the MV CPO China but was able to cover that distance in just over six hours.”
While steaming to the aid of the MV CPO China, HMAS Melbourne’s, Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk helicopter, launched and on arrival in the vicinity of MV CPO China was able to deter the pirates from attempting to take control of the ship. As a result the pirates aborted the attack and left the vessel when HMAS Melbourne arrived on the scene, the statement continues.
The Australian MOD also add that the crew of MV CPO China had “successfully secured themselves in the ship’s citadel (an anti-pirate stronghold) from where they could maintain satellite communications and control the ship. The engine controls and steering equipment for the tanker are located in the citadel.”
Commander of Joint Task Force 633, MAJGEN John Cantwell said that “this is a terrific example of how Australia’s maritime contribution to the Middle East Area of Operations provides another layer of security for the region and to the conduct of trade and suppression of criminal activities.”
“One of our objectives for operations in the Middle East is to assist the efforts of the international community in reducing acts of piracy. Our men and women aboard HMAS Melbourne deserve recognition for their role in providing maritime security and countering piracy in the Arabian Sea. This is one of those occasions where their efforts have become highly visible,” he said.
Reuters adds pirates are making tens of millions of dollars in ransoms from seizing merchant ships in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, despite efforts by foreign navies to clamp down on such attacks.