Navy strengthens presence in Lakshadweep with new base

Navy strengthens presence in Lakshadweep with new base
Kochi, Apr 30, 2012

INS Dweeprakshak, the nation’s latest naval base, was commissioned at Kavaratti in the Lakshadweep Islands on Monday by Vice Admiral K N Sushil, flag officer commanding in chief of Southern Naval Command.

The commissioning ceremony was marked by grandeur and solemnity befitting the occasion. A 50 men Guard was paraded in honour of the Commander in Chief on arrival, quoted in a statement the Navy released today.

“Lakshadweep Islands form the maritime frontiers of our country on the western side” and the commissioning of a full- fledged Naval base was another milestone in the commitment of the Indian Navy to maintain effective coastal surveillance and defence capability, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command Vice Admiral K N Sushil said.

The Admiral also informed the gathering that radar stations and other surveillance measures were in place for shipping traffic monitoring and intelligence gathering. With the commissioning of INS Dweeprakshak, the island territories would see calibrated strengthening of assets in step with their growing relevance to the security calculus of the Nation.

The INS Dweeprakshak” in the Union Territory which would also boost the security infrastructure at the strategically important Lakshadweep Archipelago. Indian Naval Warships on patrol would now extend their reach farther with base support from INS Dweeprakshak.

Formerly Laccadive, renamed Lakshadweep (hundred thousand Islands) in 1973, is India’s only coral island chain. The archipelago consists of 36 islands, 12 atolls, 3 reefs and 5 submerged banks. Only 10 islands – namely, Agatti, Amini, Andrott, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Kiltan and Minicoy – are inhabited.

The islands have a total area of 32 and the lagoons enclosed by the atolls cover an area of 4,200 The Navy had been operating a detachment at Kavaratti since the early 1980s.

More: Lakshadweep Security

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