INS Tabar sinks pirate ship

More naval action off Somalia

The Puntland pirates are getting bolder. This week, they seized a large Saudi oil tanker and a Hong Kong owned ship carrying foodgrains to Iran. (linkthanks ST and Harsh Gupta)

That should explain the reason why they are picking the wrong fights. When challenged by the INS Tabar, pirates retorted that they would blow up the Indian ship. In the ensuing firefight, the Tabar sank the pirates’ mother ship, but some got away in the accompanying speedboats.

Now, taking out a mother ship is a very good thing. But the marine theatre is also getting more dangerous.

Update: For those of you who want something more than the terse official account of what happened, Gautam John suggests the masala version on Digg .

“Steady, number two. Retarget the #2 gun for that field artillery piece, air burst. Concentrate everything else on that hole.” The guns continue to fire. The artillery piece on the Somali freighter fires again, missing by 20 feet, then falls silent as the unshielded crew become victims of precision anti-personnel airburst munitions.

“Bring us about to one eight zero and slow to 10 knots. I’d rather not get any closer for now in case their muni-” The captain’s words are cut off by a bright flash as the ammo stores ignite and detonate on the other ship. A ring of distortion races outwards from the stricken vessel at the speed of sound. As it hits the Indian vessel, everything aboard rattles and the crew winces at the sharp report of exploding armaments. The Somali ship, now almost completely lifeless, breaks in half and begins to sink as secondary explosions erupt. [Chairboy/Digg]

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20 Responses to INS Tabar sinks pirate ship

  1. AG 19th November 2008 at 14:06 #

    Whoo hoo!
    Our forces are capable of protecting our national interests more than amply, from any form of vermin.

    If only our politicians had the sagacity to let them.

  2. Sud 19th November 2008 at 19:42 #

    If only our politicians had the sagacity to let them.

    I just hope GoI stays out of their way and doesn’t attempt to micromanage the IN’s charge in future cases of this kind.

    Another thing that may have helped is the lack of ’embedded’ media highlighting the ‘targetted persecution and violation of human rights of’ the pirates on the high seas. The navy can and should use extreme prejudice in eliminating this menace, esp since there is no collateral civilian damage to worry about on the high seas. Unless piracy is made a loss making enterprise, it will continue.

    Which brings up another problem, that the pirates could in future use bound human shields on their ships to pre-empt sinking of their mother ships, perhaps. Loops within loops….

  3. Aryan 19th November 2008 at 21:06 #

    You may find this interesting..

    If pirates can take a supertanker, so can al-Qaeda

    B Raman

  4. Ashutosh 20th November 2008 at 03:44 #

    Before I clicked on the link about taking out the mother ship, I thought you were referring to Independence Day…

  5. Sanjay 20th November 2008 at 18:55 #

    This piracy is yet another reason why the Setusamudram canal project is a bad idea. Just imagine the havoc LTTE could cause if heavy shipping traffic passed within their reach.

    Here’s more on the piracy story

  6. Sanjay 20th November 2008 at 19:17 #

    Another thing – I wonder how this piracy would play into the hands of the Russians, by making the newly thawed Arctic passage the most viable route from East Asia to Europe.

  7. Sanjay 21st November 2008 at 03:34 #

    Furthermore, since India is providing all this security for the vital shipping lanes, then it’s also appropriate to again be raising the issue of India being given a seat on the UN Security Council.

    After all, if the Permanent Five are going to claim some exclusive privilege for their status on the UNSC, then let them provide the security for the shipping lanes, instead of India.

    No obligation without representation.

  8. Mayuresh Gaikwad 21st November 2008 at 11:24 #

    Looks like the pirates were total jackasses!

    How else do you expect a naval warship armed with missles (even the Brahmos has been fitted on it!) to respond when you virtually challenge it to a duel? Obviously, the pirates had it once they challenged INS Tabar

    BTW, I do not think there is any law that allows a warship to sink another one in a non-war scenario if there is no threat to it. If the pirates would have just stay put and said that they are not upto any harm, INS Tabar would have to ignore them according to international law!

  9. Nitin 21st November 2008 at 11:43 #


    The UNSC membership is beside the point. You become a great power by looking after your interests, no matter what people think. This doesn’t require anyone to give you any title, seat or position—you can (and must) do this yourself. “Khudi ko kar buland itna…”

  10. Sanjay 21st November 2008 at 17:31 #


    So if we’re going to look after our own interests, let us not allow the sudden praise from others to go to our heads. The Indian Navy should be dedicated to safeguard Indian shipping, and if any hapless Chinese get hijacked then leave them to their fate. After all, the Chinese have helped to create this current piracy situation, through their rampant arms sales to feuding African factions.

    India seems to be performing services for free, and getting nothing in return.

  11. Shaan 22nd November 2008 at 04:11 #

    @Sanjay at No.6

    The LTTE could do it if they want to do it as they control the north west, north and east coast of Srilanka. They also have big ocean going vessels that could serve as mother ships. Simply they don’t want to indulge in such stupid acts as they would pit India against them. You must also know that even though they have a limited stock pile of chemical weapons, the LTTE has not used them against the public in Srilanka till now. The LTTE as an insurgent organization striving for a definitive political goal does not want to antagonize the civilized world by resorting to such acts.

    On Sethusamudram project, I don’t oppose it merely because it cuts through Ram’s bridge. I oppose it because it is technically not feasible. No nation has dredged through the sea to make a passage. Experts say that the soil keeps moving and simply one time dredge will not do. We will have to periodically dredge which is not feasible. But unmindful of these concerns the DMK ministers want to do it because they are supposedly getting kickbacks out of it. A route that is feasible would cut through the land to make the passage and that is what has been done the world over right from the Suez canal. Sethusamudram would only add to the security of India because we need not go around the untrustworthy Srilankans who would be ready to inform our warship movements to the Chinese/Pakistanis in case of a conflict. They already helped the Pakis during 1971 and there is no guarantee that they will not do it again.

  12. Sanjay 22nd November 2008 at 11:07 #

    Shaan, stop being such an LTTE lackey. This is a forum for Indian interests, not for Eelamist expansionism. Sri Lanka is certainly not a fanatical state and enjoys good relations with the entire spectrum of the international community. They’re certainly not in the category of Pakistan, for example. Velupillai Prabhakaran is a ruthless megalomaniac who has assassinated a former Indian Prime Minister. The sooner that crook meets a terrible end, the better. And anybody who sympathizes with him can go join him, as far as I’m concerned.

  13. Chandra 22nd November 2008 at 12:59 #

    Nitin, you missed the most important part – leans over to stir his tea :)

    Chairboy was excellent!!

  14. Shaan 23rd November 2008 at 23:06 #

    Before calling me an ‘LTTE lackey’ you need to brush up your history. Srilanka had deep distrust towards Tamil kingdoms for more than a thousand years and then towards India after Indian independence. It runs through their veins. That is the reason they supported Pakistan against India during 1971 war. Still they get the bulk of their military equipment and training from China and Pakistan.

  15. mp 28th November 2008 at 13:17 #

    Could there be any truth in this? . Could it have really only been a Thai trawler illegally fishing there and mistakenly sunk by INS Tabar?

    Is there any credible news source out there which is raising this question or is this maverick site the only one carrying it?



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