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India strengthens presence in Lakshadweep with new naval base

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KOCHI (PTI): India has commissioned its first full-fledged naval base - INS Dweeprakshak - in Lakshadweep, further strengthening its presence in the Arabian Sea and extending its reach in the strategically important Indian Ocean Region.

Besides ensuring coastal security to the 36 islands in Lakshdweep archipelago, the base at Kavaratti Island will also guard the sea lanes used by merchant ships and intelligence gathering, Southern Naval Commander Vice Admiral K N Sushil said Monday while inaugurating the base.

"Lakshadweep islands form the maritime frontiers of our country on the western side. Commissioning of a full-fledged Naval Base is another milestone in the commitment of Indian Navy to maintain effective coastal surveillance and defence capability," Vice Admiral Sushil said.

Exhorting the crew of INS Dweeprakshak to do their utmost in discharge of their responsibilities, Admiral Sushil said the radar stations and other surveillance measures have also been put in place for monitoring the shipping traffic and intelligence gathering.

Navy has been operating a detachment at Kavaratti since early eighties, but the commissioning of a full-fledged base would ensure calibrated strengthening of assets and would enable the warships deployed on anti-piracy patrol to cover an extended area.

A firmer footing in the islands, which are spread out astride some of the busiest shipping lanes of the world, would provide the necessary wherewithal to the Indian Navy to discharge its responsibilities.

The base will be commanded by Captain S M Hanchinal, who will also function as Naval Officer-in-Charge Lakshadweep and Minicoy.

Also known as the tiniest Union Territory of India, Lakshadweep archipelago consists of 36 islands, 12 atolls, three reefs and five submerged banks.

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India  Navy  Lakshadweep   
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