PM Narendra Modi to take big steps to project dominance in the Indian Ocean Region

More than a trillion dollar trade passes through Indian Island territories towards South-East and North Asia.
PM Narendra Modi to take big steps to project dominance in the Indian Ocean Region
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

The Narendra Modi government is set to take big steps in maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) with approved extensions of runways at Diglipur in North Andamans and at Campbell Bay in the Great Nicobar Islands with night landings soon to take place at Port Blair airport.

It is understood that the Modi government is on the verge of approving the extension of the runway at Agatti Airport in Lakshadweep and a new runway at Minicoy Islands.

While the runway at INS Baaz in Campbell Bay will be extended by another 4000 feet to cater to big jets and fighters, the runway at INS Kohassa in Diglipur will be also extended to cater to big jets and both could be used as forward deployed air bases in cases of emergency.

To add to all this, the Indian military will soon land an Airbus 321 at night to showcase night landing capabilities at the Veer Savarkar airport in Port Blair, leaving the field wide open for commercial jets to land at night. The Veer Savarkar airport has night landing capabilities.

That the Modi government is serious about extending its sea legs in IOR is evident from the fact that six new radars will be stationed at Andamans and Nicobar Islands with new radars in Lakshadweep Islands for better maritime and air domain awareness.

The runway at Campbell Bay is being expanded apart from the installation of the high-power radar as part of a proposal to set up a transshipment bay at Galathea Bay in Great Nicobar, which is merely 150 kilometers away from Banda Aceh of Indonesia. The Minicoy Islands is a mere 300 kilometers from Maldives, which is boxing way above its weight category against India in an effort to get more loans from China.

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PM Narendra Modi to take big steps to project dominance in the Indian Ocean Region

Since both A&N Islands and Lakshadweep Islands lie on the main sea lanes of communication emanating from the Suez Canal and Persian Gulf. If these proposals translate into reality soon, India will have leverage on all ingress routes to the South China Sea via Malacca, Sunda, and Lombok straits and also have early warning on PLA Navy aggression in the IOR and the Pacific.

Source: Hindustan Times

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