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INS Jatayu, India’s new naval base in Lakshadweep

Why is it in the news?

  • Indian Navy will commission Naval Detachment Minicoy as INS Jatayu, in the presence of the Chief of the Naval Staff.

About INS Jatayu

  • It is the second Naval base in Lakshadweep after INS Dweeprakshak in Kavaratti.
  • INS Jatayu strengthens the Indian Navy’s foothold in Lakshadweep islands, extending operational surveillance, reach, and sustenance.
  • It signifies a new era of capacity building and comprehensive development of the island territories.
  • The event marks a significant milestone in augmenting security infrastructure at the strategically vital Lakshadweep Islands.
  • INS Jatayu’s commissioning follows India’s recent inauguration of an airstrip and jetty in Agaléga, Mauritius, showcasing India’s expanding maritime infrastructure in the Indian Ocean amid heightened regional competition, particularly from China.
  • The upgrade of Naval Detachment Minicoy to INS Jatayu signifies India’s second naval base in Lakshadweep, bolstering its security infrastructure in the region. The first base, INS Dweeprakshak, was commissioned in 2012 in Kavaratti.
  • India’s presence in the strategically located Lakshadweep archipelago gains significance due to its proximity to vital Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs) and its susceptibility to marine pollution.
  • INS Jatayu’s transformation will provide additional infrastructure such as an airfield, housing, and personnel facilities, thereby enhancing the Indian Navy’s operational capabilities in the area.
  • Despite potential challenges posed by the islands’ fragile ecology, plans include constructing a new airfield capable of accommodating both military and civilian aircraft.
  • INS Jatayu’s commissioning strengthens India’s naval presence on the western seaboard, supporting operations of various aircraft types, including maritime reconnaissance and fighter jets, amidst efforts to counter growing Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean.
  • The development holds significance amid strained relations with the Maldives following the election of a pro-China president, emphasizing India’s strategic response to evolving regional dynamics.

 

·       Minicoy Island is the southernmost island of Lakshadweep, straddling vital Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCs).

·       Naval Detachment Minicoy was established in the early 1980s under the operational command of the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Lakshadweep).

 

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