South Korea is likely to join the “third cycle” of the “escort and convoy coordination” plan that will be set in motion in July. Under the tri-lateral arrangement worked out among India, China and Japan, their navies have been coordinating to strengthen anti-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden since January.
Under the first cycle, the Chinese Navy was the “lead” or “reference” force for three months, with the Indian and Japanese navies chipping in to plug the gaps. In the second cycle launched in April, India is currently the primary naval force in the tri-lateral arrangement in the Gulf of Aden under which stealth frigate INS Tabar is leading from the front.
Since October 2008, Indian warships have ensured the safe passage of close to 2,000 vessels from around 50 countries through the strategic trade-route of the Gulf of Aden.