The Indian Navy is not in a very good position to safeguard the country’s sea lanes and ports spread across thousands of kilometres of coastlines in the east in western seaboards as it has only two minesweeper ships at its disposal.

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The Navy requires 12 minesweeper ships, but at present has only two, Rear Admiral Rajaram Swaminathan, Assistant Chief of Material, Indian Navy, said. “The Navy needs these ships urgently,” Swaminathan said.

Minesweepers are small naval warships that detect and destroy underwater mines and are considered vital for keeping the critical sea lanes safe for movement of essential cargo, including crude oil.