South Asia and Beyond

INS Jatayu At Lakshadweep’s Minicoy Island To Give India’s Security Infrastructure A Major Boost

It’s going to be a major boost for the Indian Navy and India’s security infrastructure with a new naval base in the Arabian Sea

The new naval base INS Jatayu will be commissioned on March 6 by Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar. This will be the second naval base in Lakshadweep. The Indian Navy already has a base on Kavaratti island called INS Dweeprakshak

INS Jatayu – is on the southernmost island of Lakshadweep – the Minicoy island… 258 km from the Maldives

The Navy said in a statement that the new base will extend New Delhi’s “operational surveillance” of the area

“Minicoy is the southernmost island of Lakshadweep which straddles the vital sea lines of communications,” the Navy said.

The new base will also significantly boost anti-piracy and anti-narcotic operations.

It is part of the Navy’s plan to ‘incrementally augment security infrastructure at the strategically important’ islands.

TOI reports that INS Jatayu will be commissioned amidst plans to develop a dual-use airfield at Minicoy.

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The commissioning of INS Jatayu is strategically significant as it comes just days before India will withdraw all its personnel from the Maldives.

Maldives’s President Mohamed Muizzu has asked India to withdraw 89 personnel. The first batch are due to leave by March 10 and all are to depart within two months.

Naval Detachment Minicoy was set up in the early 1980s and an independent naval base will enhance the overall operational capability of the Indian Navy. It will boost its role as first responder in the region and strengthen connectivity with the mainland.

With INS Jatayu, the Indian Navy will strengthen its sealegs in the Lakshadweep islands.

Over time, INS Jatayu will be expanded, evolving into a larger base with the capability to accommodate aircraft carriers.

This will further enhance military surveillance capabilities in this region where currently there is only one airport at Agatti.

Aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant will be present during the commissioning of INS Jatayu