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India has positioned its research vessel, RV Samudra Ratnakar, between two Chinese survey ships, XIANG YANG HONG 01 and XIANG YANG HONG 03, located off India’s eastern coast. This deployment comes amid concerns over the presence of Yuan Wang 3, a Chinese military survey ship, in the same region.

The RV Samudra Ratnakar is a state-of-the-the-art oceanographic research vessel operated by the Geological Survey of India (GSI). Built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea, the 103-meter long vessel is equipped for extended missions, capable of continuous sailing for 45 days and accommodating up to 73 personnel, including 25 geoscientists.

While the official purpose of the deployment is not confirmed, it is likely India positioned the RV Samudra Ratnakar to potentially disrupt the data collection activities of the Chinese survey ships. The Yuan Wang-class ships are believed to be used for tracking and supporting ballistic missiles, raising concerns about their presence near India’s strategic locations.

The deployment of the RV Samudra Ratnakar reflects ongoing tensions between India and China, particularly regarding their activities in the Indian Ocean. This incident highlights the strategic importance of the region and the competition for resources and influence.

The RV Samudra Ratnakar boasts an impressive array of scientific equipment, including:

  • Positioning Systems (DGPS, Dynamic Positioning)
  • Sonar Systems (Multibeam, Sub-bottom Profiler)
  • Seismic Equipment (Multi-channel Seismic System)
  • Magnetometers and Gravimeters
  • Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)
  • Coring and Sampling Devices
  • Marine Data Management System