The 16th escort task force of the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLAN) discovered and verified four suspicious vessels and then successfully repelled them in the west waters of the Gulf of Aden on the morning of January 12, 2013, local time.
When the radar of the guided-missile frigate “Luoyang” of the taskforce showed several suspicious vessels spotted in the front left side of the taskforce at 10:25, the commanding personnel immediately conducted the small target identification and found that those vessels looked like fishing boats but acted suspiciously, drawing close to the taskforce at a high speed.
The taskforce rapidly shifted to Level-1 anti-piracy deployment with the helicopter geared into first-level combat duty and the special operation members carrying weapons and equipment in deployed positions. The situation was notified to the merchant ships escorted by the taskforce.
At 10:32, the helicopter carrying two special operation members and a photo-evidence collector to justify the situation took off and sent back live pictures in real time through the airborne video transmission system. The four suspicious boats were deterred by the helicopter and stopped getting any closer to the merchant ships.
According to the briefing made by the commander of the reserve command post of the 16th Chinese naval escort taskforce, the maritime conditions of the Gulf of Aden are currently good, but it is a time period when piracy activities occur frequently. The taskforce is able to have a timely command of the piracy activity information through reinforced communication with peripheral escort forces. Meanwhile, the taskforce comprehensively takes advantage of multiple means, such as the radar, photoelectric and visual observation, to monitor the maritime area cruised over in order to ensure that any piracy activity in the neighborhood will be discovered in time and rapidly countered against.