Defence IndustryIndian Navy

India Inaugurates Key Naval Base Near Maldives

Story Highlights
  • India's growing naval power not only protects us from the growing naval power of our enemies, but it also creates a safe environment for everyone in the Indian Ocean region.
  • Singh said in February that events in the western Indian Ocean, where merchant ships have been attacked by drones and tried to be taken over

India opened a new naval base, INS Jatayu, at Minicoy in the Lakshadweep islands on Wednesday. This expands the country’s military presence and reach in the vast Indian Ocean region. Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar praised the new outpost as a major improvement in the navy’s operational capability in a strategic maritime area that presents many challenges.

The new base, which will be the second in Lakshadweep, will have an airfield and a jetty for operations. Kumar said that the navy will send more weapons to that base. The name of the base comes from a huge bird in the Hindu epic Ramayana.

To Kumar in Minicoy, the opening of the new base is very important not only for the Indian Navy but also for the country’s maritime security and strategic position in the Indo-Pacific area.

“In the Ramayana, Jatayu was the “first responder” who risked his own life to try to stop Sita from being taken. He was a great example of putting others before himself.” Putting this unit’s name, Jatayu, on it is a good way to honor its spirit of service, security, and tracking. “Jatayu’s information to Lord Rama gave him important information about the situation, which led to the successful quest that followed,” Kumar said at the event.

“INS Baaz in the Andamans and now INS Jatayu at Minicoy will protect our national interests at sea, no matter who the threat is.” As we contract Jatayu, it is important to remember that increased surveillance is urgently needed because of recent geopolitical events that show how important Lakshadweep is to India’s strategy. There is an increase in terrorism, crime, and piracy in the Indian Ocean area.

The Indian Navy is getting stronger not only to deal with current crises but also to protect the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region in the long run, he said.

The island of Minicoy is the most southern part of Lakshadweep. It is 215 nautical miles southwest of Kochi. Nearby is the 9 Degree Channel, a busy shipping path for ships around the world. The northernmost island of the Maldives is only 80 nautical miles away.

President Mohamed Muizzu of the Maldives said that after May 10, no Indian military troops would be allowed into his country, not even those dressed as civilians.

India said last week that the first group of Indian “technical personnel” had arrived in the Maldives to take the place of military personnel who were flying two helicopters and an airplane that was mostly used for disaster relief and humanitarian aid. About 80 Indian soldiers are stationed in the Maldives to run two advanced light helicopters and an Indian-provided Dornier airplane.

Many people think that Muizzu is close to China. Since he won the presidential election last year, he has tried to move the Maldives away from relying on India in important areas like defense and food security.

The navy had a temporary base in Minicoy up until now, but it is now full-fledged base time.

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Lakshadweep in January, it brought the islands a lot of attention. HT was the first to report on February 14 that India had chosen to increase its military presence by building naval bases and airfields in the Lakshadweep islands after Modi’s visit. This was done to protect the important sea routes of communication.

“There was already a naval detachment, and it has now been given its own authority as a separate unit.” As Kumar put it, “It will improve operational capability, capacity, and administrative aspects.”

The first person in charge of the base will be Commander Vrat Baghel. The second navy base in Lakshadweep is INS Jatayu, which is in Kavaratti. The first is INS Dweeprakshak.

Vice Admiral SN Ghormade, who left as the navy’s vice chief last year and is an expert in maritime affairs, said that the new base will make it easier for India to keep an eye on foreign presence in the area, such as rising Chinese activity.

It’s a big deal because it will make people more aware of threats in the maritime area and make it easier to deal with them in the Indian Ocean region. The navy and the country will also be seen as more of a source of peace and stability in the area thanks to INS Jatayu. Ghormade said, “Assets sent there will help stop drug trafficking on the ‘hash highway,’ which is a drug route that goes from the Arabian Sea to the western Indian Ocean.”

Kumar also said that the navy’s new MH-60Rs were some of the most powerful multi-role helicopters in the world and that they would make India’s maritime powers much better.

We will use the MH-60R helicopters to protect our naval hubs and make our efforts for a safe and secure environment in the Indian Ocean region stronger. We will be better prepared for battle with the MH-60R because it is flexible, long-range, and can do many different things. Kumar said this while launching the first MH-60R squadron at INS Garuda in Kochi on Wednesday.

China’s carefully planned power play for influence, protecting the rules-based international order, and the Arabian Sea becoming a new front as Red Sea tensions rise and piracy returns are some of the problems that the faraway seas have to deal with. Since threats are getting stronger, the navy has increased monitoring in the area and sent out task groups of about 10 warships.

The INS Jatayu was officially launched in the presence of Kumar, Praful K Patel, V Srinivas (chief of the Southern Naval Command), and Sanjay J. Singh (chief of the Western Naval Command).

The Indian Navy said in a statement, “This important event strengthens our position in the Lakshadweep islands and opens up new opportunities for training, operations, and support in the area.” The Minicoy naval base will make it easier to connect to the shore and put more attention on developing the islands as a whole, the statement said. The Naval Officer-in-Charge (Lakshadweep), Southern Naval Command, will be in charge of running INS Jatayu.

After Kumar reviewed a guard of honor at the commissioning ceremony, a Maritime Operations Center was opened.

When it was first set up in the early 1980s, the Naval Detachment Minicoy was run by the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Lakshadweep).

As was already said, Minicoy is located on important sea routes for communication, and putting an independent naval unit there with the right facilities and supplies will improve the Indian Navy’s total ability to do its job.

At an event in Goa on Tuesday, defense minister Rajnath Singh said, “India’s growing naval power not only protects us from the growing naval power of our enemies, but it also creates a safe environment for everyone in the Indian Ocean region.”

He indirectly talked about the problems caused by China’s growing assertiveness when he said that India is making sure that no country with “overwhelming economic and military power” can “hegemony” over other countries in the Indian Ocean area or threaten their sovereignty.

Singh said in February that events in the western Indian Ocean, where merchant ships have been attacked by drones and tried to be taken over, posed “extremely pressing challenges.”

Facebook Comments

Related Articles

Back to top button