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Indian Navy's Jewel in Arabian Sea: A Naval Base With Exclusive Port For Operations

© AP Photo / Rafiq MaqboolIndian navy person stands guard on board war ship Godavari during its decommissioning at the naval dockyard in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015.
Indian navy person stands guard on board war ship Godavari during its decommissioning at the naval dockyard in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 12.04.2024
The Indian Navy is rapidly enhancing its operational capabilities, with the expansion of naval base facilities one of its top priorities. Earlier this week, the country's largest naval base on its Western coast got a major facelift.
India's naval base in the seaside town of Karwar in the southern state of Karnataka, located only 20 kilometers from Goa's southern tip on the country's Western seaboard is in the midst of a major modernization program with the Indian Navy Chief Admiral R. Hari Kumar recently inaugurating a slew of projects there.
Part of the additions that have been made at INS Kadamba as the naval base is called, is a Pier for Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) which spans 350 meters in length and is the longest at an Indian Navy facility in the country.
Besides, a residential enclave meant to accommodate the personnel of the Indian Navy was inaugurated by Kumar earlier this week.
"The Pier 3 OPV Pier is 350m long, capable of berthing OPVs, large survey vessels and mine counter measure vessels. The pier would also provide various shore-based services, such as electrical power, potable water, chilled water for air conditioning, 30 tonnes mobile crane and other domestic services to the ships," a statement from India's blue water force noted.
For the unversed, these developments related to infrastructure at Karwar are being carried out under Phase IIA of INS (Indian Naval Ship) Kadamba or Project Seabird.
INS Kadamba Bolsters the Indian Navy's Prowess on the Western Coast
This will transform the Karwar naval base into a unique facility for the Indian Navy as it will be able to berth 32 ships and submarines at the same time.
Moreover, it will have a Naval Air Station that would be used by both the Navy and the Air Force.
Also, it will have a full-fledged dockyard, where the Indian Navy will be able to dock its largest warships - aircraft carriers - the 44,500-ton INS Vikramaditya and the indigenous 40,000-ton INS Vikrant.
It is worth noting that INS Kadamba is the country's first facility to have a ship-lift capacity, where submarines, and vessels will be lifted for docking and undocking.
Furthermore, the base has a port that is under the exclusive control of the Indian Navy - a first for the world's largest democratic nation's maritime force.
This gives the South Asian sovereign state's blue water force greater maneuverability because it will allow the Navy to position its fleet of warships as per operational requirements while not thinking too much about the arrival and departure of merchant vessels.
The Navy's other two large bases in Mumbai and Visakhapatnam share space with commercial ships, on occasions choking shipping lanes meant for military purposes.
For example, during the 1971 India-Pakistan War, which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh, the Indian Navy faced a huge space crunch in the Mumbai Harbour because merchant vessels and fishing boats were causing congestion there.
Following the expansion at INS Kadamba under Phase IIA, the Indian Navy plans to launch Phase IIB, which aims to convert it into the eastern hemisphere's largest naval base, allowing it to house 50 large warships of the Indian Navy, including aircraft carriers.
In this photograph taken on December 22, 2023, sailors walk on the deck of the INS IMPHAL (Yard 12706), the third stealth guided missile destroyer of Project 15B, ahead of its commissioning into the Indian Navy, at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. - Sputnik India, 1920, 02.03.2024
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