The Indian Navy is planning to set up more facilities at Kakinada port to safeguard the country’s maritime interests, according to Vice-Admiral Anil Chopra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command.

He told reporters here on board stealth frigate INS Sahyadri on Tuesday that a base would be set up at Kakinada, deploying some high speed boats to protect the offshore assets and strengthen the defence capabilities in the region.

He said the Navy would be establishing a jetty at Kakinada port along with the Coast Guard for their operations. It is also establishing its amphibious warfare training school at Kakinada.

Naval air enclaves

As part of strengthening the operations on the east coast, the Navy would establish naval air enclaves at Tuticorin, Bhubaneswar and Behala in Kolkata. It is already operating an air station in Meenambakkam.

The Navy is in the process of acquiring land and developing it at a number of places in the State. The Eastern Naval Command is looking at developing an airstrip near Bobilli in Vizianagaram district that was used during the Second World War as an alternative landing station to INS Dega.

The indigenously built nuclear submarine INS Arihant has successfully completed its harbour acceptance trials and would be soon be embarking on sea acceptance trials.

Once commissioned, INS Arihant along with INS Chakra would be a force multiplier and help the Indian Navy become a true blue sea navy, he said.

He said: “It is a matter of great pride that all the new ships that are being commissioned are indigenously built.’’ Three more Shivalik class stealth frigates would be joining service soon.

He said the proposal to purchase four landing platform docks from Hindustan Shipyard Ltd here awaits the Government approval, and it may come soon.

sarma.rs@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 3, 2013)
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