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INS Jatayu

Context:

  • According to latest reports, it is being reported that Naval Detachment Minicoy will be commissioned as INS Jatayu.
  • Naval Jatayu is an upgraded naval base and it marks an important milestone in the Indian Navy’s resolve to incrementally augment security infrastructure at the strategic Lakshadweep Islands.
  • While India has had a naval detachment in Minicoy, the southernmost atoll of the Lakshwadeep archipelago, since the 1980s, INS Jatayu will effectively become the country’s second naval base in Lakshadweep.
  • The Navy’s first base on the islands, INS Dweeprakshak in Kavaratti, was commissioned in the year 2012.

About Lakshwadeep:

  • Lakshadweep is a group of 36 islands known for its exotic and sun-kissed beaches and lush green landscape.
  • The name Lakshadweep in Malayalam and Sanskrit stands for ‘a hundred thousand islands’.
  • It is India’s smallest Union Territory and is an archipelago consisting of 36 islands with an area of 32 sq km.
  • Lakshadweep is a uni-district Union Territory and comprises of 12 atolls, three reefs, five submerged banks and ten inhabited islands.
  • The capital of the Lakshadweep is Kavaratti and it is also the principal town of the UT.
  • All Islands are nearly 220 to 440 km away from the coastal city of Kochi in Kerala.
  • The entry to Lakshadweep islands is restricted.
  • There is a requirement of an entry permit issued by Lakshadweep Administration in order to visit these islands.
  • Due to their location in the Indian Ocean, the Lakshadweep are of huge strategic importance to India.

INS Jatayu naval base:

  • The existing Naval Detachment Minicoy, which is under the operational command of the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Lakshadweep), will now be commissioned as INS Jatayu.
  • A naval detachment usually has administrative, logistics, and medical facilities.
  • INS Jatayu will be upgraded to a naval base with additional infrastructure such as an airfield, housing, and personnel, after obtaining the environmental and other requisite clearances.
  • The commissioning of INS Jatayu will add to the strength on the western seaboard.
  • The proposed airfield will allow operations for a range of aircraft, including P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft and fighter jets, and extend the Navy’s reach and operational surveillance capabilities at a time when India is seeking to counter the growing Chinese influence in our neighbourhood in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • However it is important to note that the fragile ecology of the island may pose challenges for the construction of a jetty.

The post INS Jatayu appeared first on Vajirao IAS.

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