Indian Navy Expels Chinese Research Vessel Operating Near Strategic Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The Indian Navy recently expelled a Chinese research vessel, named Shiyan-1, that entered its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) near the strategic Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

According to local reports, the vessel was spotted conducting research activities inside the islands’ EEZ by Indian Navy’s Dornier Do 228 maritime surveillance aircraft. The Chinese vessel was asked to leave the area by a Navy Saryu-class offshore patrol vessel which was sent for monitoring.

The EEZ is a sea zone prescribed by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) over which a state has special rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production from water and wind. It stretches from the baseline out to 200 nautical miles (nmi) from its coast.

The Chinese vessel was reportedly spotted off the coast of Port Blair, the territory’s capital and main city. The military reacted swiftly to the presence of the Chinese vessel as it was possible it might have been spying, according to local reports.

The strategic Andaman and Nicobar Islands lie at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Its closeness to Malacca Strait provide a base for India to monitor shipping activity in the area through which about 60 percent of the traffic is en route to or from China. The islands also host the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the only tri-service geographical command of the Indian Armed Forces.

Shiyan 1 Research Vessel

Shiyan 1 Research Vessel is jointly operated by the Institute of Acoustics (IOA), the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology (SCSIO) and Shenyang Institute of Automation (SIA) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

The vessel is the first vessel in service that could be considered as the large-scale CCS classification SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull) catamaran type with AC variable frequency electric propulsion system.

The vessel has many advanced features such as excellent noise reduction and shock absorption, full automation and dynamic positioning etc, which can support the scientific investigation of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary among acoustics, physical oceanography, marine geology, marine biology, marine chemistry and marine atmospheric environments etc. in coastal waters, open sea and ocean. It can support a wide range of large-scale observation network to layout, observe, control, remote sensing, and monitor, and also can carry out the research about the real-time three-dimensional marine environment monitoring system and comprehensive information system. It is the high performance and ideal laboratory platform for marine science and hydroacoustics.

Shiyan 1 research vessel has superior manipulation, sea keeping, automation, network sharing, dynamic positioning control and economic performance providing a good experimental platform for marine scientific research.

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