Thursday, February 22, 2018

Indian ocean: China sends 13 ship fleet into India's front yard in which to send message during Maldives crisis

(New Delhi) Currently there is a political crisis in the Maldives. The President Abdulla Yameen, has taken on an air of a policy of connecting Islam with anti-Western rhetoric and as India the big neighbour across the way is Hindu has made his bed with China, which just happens to be India’s nemesis .

Anyway early in February, the Maldives Supreme Court dropped charges against opposition leader and pro-Indian former President Mohammed Nasheed, and ordered that 12 opposition parliamentarians who had been stripped of their seats be reinstated. President Abdulla Yameen was having none of that and overruled the court’s decision and declared a state of emergency. Two Supreme Court judges and another former pro-Indian president, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, were arrested on charges of attempting to overthrow the government. In the chaos that ensued, both Yameen and Nasheed appealed to regional powerhouses for their support. Yameen sent envoys to China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in a bid to strengthen his position. Nasheed, who is currently outside the Maldives, took to Twitter to request a military-backed envoy from India. The EU  sent in a delegation and held a meeting with the opposition, but was denied talks with the ruling government, which it has accused of cracking down on democracy.

Whilst India has remained silent on sending forces to restore law and order, China firmly told New Delhi not to send in any forces (As it did in 1998 after a coup)

Well, the situation has become much more complicated as it has been reported that China has sent in a task force of 13 ships into the Eastern Indian ocean for some very strange reason, of which they are remaining tight lipped about.  The task forces consists of two 052D destroyers, a 054A frigate, and a 071 dock landing ship. A supply ship is also part of the flotilla. This has been beefed up by the 27th escort convoy comprising a destroyer, frigate and a replenishment ship  and the 28th convoy escort formation in the western Indian Ocean. 13 ships in total.

The 7500 tonnes Type 052D guided missile destroyer (Luyang-III class) is among the world's biggest and most capable destroyers. Equipped with advanced radar and two 32-cell Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) for various missiles. It is presumed that the Type 052D  has capabilities similar to those of the US Arleigh Burke class general-purpose destroyers.
Type 052D 
The 4000 tonne Type 054A frigate (Jiangkai II) is a class of Chinese multi-role frigates, the first of which entered service with the People's Liberation Army Navy Surface Force in 2007. It has a hard-to-pick stealthy design and good anti-ship and counter-submarine capability.

Type 054A
The 25000 tonne Type 071 amphibious transport ship is geared for beach landing troops. An array of amphibious landing craft, assault vehicles and two back-up helicopters are used for sea-to-land deployment of around 800 troops, equivalent of an army battalion.

 “Overall, the Chinese Navy is sending out an amphibious convoy fleet with strong regional air defence, anti-ship and anti-submarine capabilities and the ability to deliver rather large-scale amphibious troops quickly,”
It appears that things may become very complicated