Recently, Raksha Mantri visited the Karwar Naval Base in Karnataka to review the progress of ongoing infrastructure development under ‘Project Seabird’.
About Project Seabird
- The Raksha Mantri inspected the ongoing works at the Naval Base and received on-site briefings including capability demonstration at the Shiplift Tower and also undertook a tour of the Naval Harbour and reviewed the marine works/infrastructure being developed as part of Project Seabird Phase II A as also operationalisation of Piers.
- After the completion of the project, the Kawar Naval Base would become Asia’s largest Naval base which would further bolster the operational readiness of the Armed Forces and help in augmenting trade, economy & humanitarian aid operations.
- INS Kadamba is an Indian Navy base located near Karwar in Karnataka.
- The first phase of construction of the base was code-named Project Seabird and was completed in 2005.
- INS Kadamba is currently the third-largest Indian naval base and is expected to become the largest naval base in the eastern hemisphere after the completion of expansion Phase IIB.
Need for such a Base
- The Raksha Mantri complimented the Indian Navy for being a strong arm of the Armed Forces that is making an invaluable contribution towards maritime and national security, besides strengthening India’s position at the strategic as well as diplomatic & commercial levels.
- The Navy is successfully discharging its duties of protecting the country, which through its coastline of more than 7,500 kms, about 1,300 islands and an exclusive economic zone of 2.5 million sq kms, is playing a crucial role in the development of the world.
- The Navy is continuously strengthening India’s relations with its maritime neighbours with focus on ‘SAGAR’ (Security & Growth for All in Region).
- The role of Indian Navy during Goa Liberation War of 1961 and the 1971 Indo-Pak war among others.
- the efforts of Indian Navy for providing humanitarian assistance to not just the country, but the world, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- From rescuing stranded Indian nationals from affected countries to ferrying in critical equipment, including oxygen cylinders, from abroad, Indian Navy has worked tirelessly in the fight against COVID-19.
Some of the reforms undertaken by the Government to further strengthen the operational preparedness of the Armed Forces
- Appointment of Chief of Defence Staff and setting up of Department of Military Affairs in Ministry of Defence.
- Promote self reliance in defence manufacturing.
- Allocation of 64 per cent of modernisation funds under capital acquisition budget for 2021-22 for domestic procurement;
- changes in Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020
- increase in FDI limit in the defence sector to 74%.
- two-thirds of Navy’s modernisation budget has been spent on indigenous procurement in the last five financial years.
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