New Delhi: Strengthening its capabilities
along the western seaboard, the Indian Navy is planning to
establish a new naval air base in Karwar in Karnataka for
operating both fighter and surveillance aircraft.
"We have plans of establishing a Naval Air Station at
Karwar for basing and operation of fixed and rotary-wing
military aircraft," Navy officials said on Tuesday.
The naval air base is part of the Navy`s Rs 10,000 crore
plans under the phase II of the Project Sea Bird.
Aircraft carrier `Admiral Gorshkov`, which India is
getting from Russia, six Scorpene submarines and several other
warships will be based there in the future.
The Navy already has an air base in Goa and has deployed
its MiG 29K and Sea Harrier fighter aircraft there.
It has also placed orders for 29 more MiG 29K carrier-
borne fighter planes from Russia along with the indigenous
versions of the naval variant of the Light Combat Aircraft
Under the Phase-II of the Project, Karwar will get an
armament depot, dockyard complex and missile silos, apart from
additional jetties, berthing and anchorage facilities.
It is planning to expand the base to the extent where it
can provide requisite berthing and operational fleet base
facilities for the operation, administration and command and
control of over 30 warships and submarines.
The Karwar base would be the third such major base of the
Indian Navy and is being strengthened at a time when Pakistan
is developing ports with the help of the Chinese and would
also providing strategic depth to its maritime force.
It would also help the Navy in decongesting its base in
Mumbai which has seen a significant increase in merchant