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India to inaugurate largest naval base on Suez
India will commission INS Kadamba in Karwar on the western coastline of the peninsular India by the end of May.

Project Seabird will be inaugurated soon by the Indian Navy as it tries to assume a more expansive responsibility in the international affairs.

Once commissioned, Project Seabird will be the first operational base with a port controlled exclusively by the navy, allowing it to position and maneuver its operational fleet without bothering about the movement of merchant vessels.

Indian Navy's other two bases, Mumbai in western coast, and Vizag port in the eastern coast are situated within the enclaves within commercial ports.

Naval bases situated within commercial zones often pose trouble for the maritime might of India.

INS Kadamba will remedy the problem. A report in 'Frontline' says, the base will be the biggest naval base on this side of the Suez and it will provide the Indian fleet with the much needed defense at sea.

INS Kadamba is spread over 11,200 acres (4,480 hectares), and the base will encompass a 26-km stretch along the high water line of the seafront from Karwar Head in the north through the Baitkol, Kamath, Binaga, Kwada, and Belekeri Bays.

Karwar with its bays and islands has always been thought of as an ideal site for locating a naval base.

The sea at the naval base is deep less than half a mile from the coast and this makes berthing and navigation easy. This feature of the sea floor also makes the need of dredging minimal.

Given the unique tidal conditions, there is little scope for siltation. The base gets natural protection from wave action because of the presence of Binaga Bay.

INS Kadamba is the successful fruition of an idea that was conceived in the 1970s. India aimed to move the navy from its dependence on the Mumbai base where need for silting was posing difficulty before the Indian Navy.

The foundation for the project was laid by former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in October 1986. It was given up subsequently because of lack of funds. In 1990 it was resurrected.

The report said, INS Kadamba will need a budgetary allocation of Rs 400 crores every year over the next decade if it is to be propelled toward its full potential.

Once commissioned, the new naval base will host an array of vehicles and armaments of the Indian Navy like the navy's large ship-based helicopter units and Dorniers, used for fleet requirements.

The operating ships of the Indian Navy will go to INS Kadamba and the ships undergoing repairs and refit and maintenance will go to Mumbai.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 6:27 AM

 

 
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