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INS Jatayu: New Navy base INS Jatayu to bolster security infrastructure in Lakshadweep

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The Indian Navy is set to commission a new naval base, INS Jatayu, on Minicoy Island on March 6, marking a significant step in enhancing security infrastructure in the strategically important Lakshadweep Islands. This move is part of the government’s plan to incrementally boost military presence and security infrastructure in the region. Minicoy, the southernmost island of the Lakshadweep archipelago, is strategically located in the Arabian Sea, straddling vital sea lines of communication (SLOCs).

Enhancing Operational Capability and Reach

INS Jatayu will be the second naval base in Lakshadweep after INS Dweeprakshak in Kavaratti. The new base will enhance the Navy’s overall operational capability and reach in the region, facilitating efforts towards anti-piracy and anti-narcotics operations in the western Arabian Sea. It will also serve as a first responder in the region and improve connectivity with the mainland.

Strategic Significance

The establishment of INS Jatayu comes at a time when there are plans to develop a dual-use airfield at Minicoy, further bolstering the Navy’s presence in the region. The move to convert the temporary setup at Minicoy into a full-fledged naval base demonstrates the Navy’s commitment to tapping India’s geographical advantage to further maritime interests.

Government’s Focus on Island DevelopmentThe commissioning of INS Jatayu aligns with the government’s focus on the comprehensive development of islands. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lakshadweep in January highlighted the strategic importance of the islands, propelling them into the limelight.Challenges in the Region

The Indian Navy’s expansion in Lakshadweep comes amid increasing challenges in the Indian Ocean region, including China’s growing presence and the resurgence of piracy. The Navy has intensified surveillance efforts, deploying task groups to address these threats.

Future Expansion

INS Jatayu is expected to be expanded over time into a larger base capable of operating aircraft carriers, further enhancing the Navy’s operational capabilities in the region.

The commissioning of INS Jatayu represents a significant milestone in the Indian Navy’s efforts to strengthen security infrastructure in the Lakshadweep Islands. The new naval base will not only enhance operational capabilities but also contribute to the comprehensive development of the island territories, in line with the government’s strategic vision.

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