INS Jatayu: Indian Navy commissions new base in Lakshadweep's Minicoy Island

Team India Sentinels Wednesday 6th of March 2024 04:29 PM

Admiral R Hari Kumar (R) addressing the event held for commissioning INS Jatayu in Minicoy Island, Lakshadweep. (India Sentinels photo via special arrangement.)

Kochi/New Delhi: The Indian Navy commissioned its new base, INS Jatayu, at Minicoy Island, Lakshadweep, in a ceremony attended by the Navy chief, Admiral Radhakrishnan Hari Kumar, on Wednesday. This significant development strengthens the Navy’s presence in the strategically important Lakshadweep islands, enhancing its operational reach, capacity building, and logistical support in the region.

This development comes at a time when India’s Indian Ocean Region neighbour and “ally”, the Maldives, is increasingly pivoting towards India’s biggest geostrategic adversary, China, as India Sentinels had been reporting since last year.

Boosting security and development

The establishment of INS Jatayu will improve connectivity between Minicoy and the mainland, facilitating the comprehensive development of the island. The base will operate under the control of the Southern Naval Command’s naval officer in charge, Lakshadweep.

Commissioning ceremony

The commissioning ceremony featured a guard of honour for the Navy chief, followed by an invocation in Sanskrit and the reading of the commissioning warrant by Commander Vrat Baghel, the unit’s first commanding officer. The ceremony also included the unveiling of a plaque, the hoisting of the naval ensign, and a flypast by maritime patrol aircraft.

Read also: Is India building a secret military base in Mauritius’s Agaléga?

Significance of INS Jatayu

The commissioning of INS Jatayu marks a crucial step in bolstering India’s maritime security posture, particularly in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The base is expected to play a key role in various operations, including anti-piracy, anti-smuggling, and anti-narcotics activities, besides enhancing maritime domain awareness.

Minicoy is also seen as an alternative to India’s presence in Maldives in the western Indian Ocean Region in the face of spiralling of ties between New Delhi and Male after the current incumbent president, Mohamed Muizzu, assumed office. The commissioning of INS Jatayu comes amid growing concerns about China’s increasing presence in the Indian Ocean Region.

As India Sentinels had reported earlier, INS Jatayu is the second naval base in Lakshadweep, after INS Dweeprakshak in Kavaratti. The base is named after Jatayu, a mythical bird from the Ramayana who tried to save Sita from Ravana.


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