With the Maldives getting closer to China, India uses its Indian Ocean naval station to send a strategic statement

Analysts predicted that India’s recently established naval facility in the Lakshadweep archipelago off its west coast will strengthen the South Asian nation’s monitoring of the Indian Ocean and send a strategic message to China as it looks to increase its influence in the area. On March 6, the Indian Navy put into service the INS Jatayu facility on Minicoy Island, which is located close to one of the main maritime lanes from the Red Sea to East Asia and on the southernmost tip of Lakshadweep. The island lies in Kerala, roughly 400 miles to the southwest of Kochi. The second naval base in Lakshadweep, after INS Dweeprakshak on Kavaratti island, is called INS Jatayu.


Similar to INS Baaz, a military installation in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the northeastern Indian Ocean, the new facility will serve as India’s “eyes and ears,” according to Navy Chief R. Hari Kumar. He continued by saying that it will improve the Indian Navy’s ability to monitor the Gulf of Aden following a recent upsurge in piracy. Following a missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels that struck a bulk carrier in the Gulf of Aden on March 6, the Indian Navy saved 21 crew members, the navy said on social networking platform X (formerly Twitter) the following day. The growing strength of the navy is not just to cater for these ongoing, short-term crises, but more importantly, to ensure the future balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region,” Admiral Kumar continued.


On Minicoy, plans call for an airstrip. The Indian Coast Guard stated that in order to “enhance the reach of air-sea coordinated” operations, it is constructing a new air enclave for its aircraft, complete with a hangar. The Maldives and China signed a military agreement on March 6. Mr. Muizzu stated that his country would purchase “non-lethal” military hardware from China as well as get military training from China. After winning the election in September on the platform of removing Indian troops from the nation, Mr. Muizzu fueled concerns that Indian influence had increased under the administration of the former president, Ibrahim Solih, who was thought to be friendly with India.

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