INS Jatayu: India’s new naval base in Lakshadweep

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Source-This post on INS Jatayu: India’s new naval base in Lakshadweep is based on the article “Why INS Jatayu, India’s new naval base in Lakshadweep, matters” published in “The Indian Express” on 6th March 2024.

Why in the News?

The Indian Navy will officially commission Naval Detachment Minicoy as INS Jatayu on March 6, 2024.

What is INS Jatayu?

1. About:
INS Jatayu is the second Naval base in Lakshadweep after INS Dweeprakshak in Kavaratti, which was commissioned in 2012.
b. The existing Naval Detachment Minicoy, which is under the operational command of the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Lakshadweep), will be commissioned as INS Jatayu.
Note– Naval Detachment Minicoy was set up in the 1980s.

2. Facilities– A naval detachment provides administrative, logistics, and medical support. INS Jatayu will become a naval base with more facilities like an airfield, housing, and personnel once it gets the necessary clearances.

What is its Significance?

1. Strategic location– The establishment of INS Jatayu enhances Navy surveillance and operations. Situated on Lakshadweep’s southernmost island, Minicoy, overlooks vital Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs) in the Arabian Sea. It provides a strategic vantage point for monitoring maritime traffic.

NoteSea Lines of Communication (SLOCs)– It refers to the main maritime routes between ports, essential for trade, logistics, and naval activities.

2. Maritime Security and Operational Range– The commissioning of INS Jatayu broadens the Navy’s operational range, enhancing anti-piracy and anti-narcotics efforts in the Western Arabian Sea. It underscores India’s commitment to maritime security in a vital area for global trade and energy supplies.

3. Geopolitical dynamics– Given the changing geopolitical landscape, especially China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean region, the establishment assumes greater significance.

About the Lakshadweep Islands

Source- Royal Maldives family

1. Lakshadweep archipelago consists of 36 islands situated between 220 km and 440 km from Kochi. Only 11 of these islands are inhabited, covering a total area of just 32 sq km.

2. The Lakshadweep islands are part of a series of coral islands in the Indian Ocean, stretching southward to the Maldives and the Chagos archipelago beyond the equator.

3. Minicoy, the southernmost island of Lakshadweep, lies along crucial Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs), the main global maritime pathways. These include the Eight Degree Channel (between Minicoy and Maldives) and the Nine Degree Channel (between Minicoy and the main Lakshadweep islands).

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