India Inaugurates New Naval Base Near Maldives

In an effort to bolster its capabilities on the crucial Lakshadweep Islands, the Indian Navy inaugurated Indian Naval Station (INS) Jatayu on Minicoy Island on March 6th. The new base will boost anti-narcotics and anti-piracy operations in the nearby Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. Navy Chief Admiral R. Hari Kumar commissioned the new facility under the command of Commandant Vrat Baghel.

Admiral Kumar claimed the installation of the new base, INS Jatayu, would increase “situational awareness” of the Indian Navy and how it would act as “eyes and ears.” The island also serves as an important trade route, making it even more crucial to have a presence on the ground.

“The Indian Ocean region is witnessing an upsurge in maritime terror, crime, and piracy. The Indian Navy has responded with an assertive posture in the west and North Arabian Sea, undertaking anti-drone, anti-missile, and anti-piracy operations to safeguard merchant traffic in the region,” Kumar later said regarding why India built the station.

Additional plans for a radar station for aerial units as well as a landing strip are in the works with island administrator Praful Khoda Patel, which should conclude soon.

Minicoy is the southernmost island within Lakshadweep.