New Delhi [India], Jan 06 (ANI): Seeking to add more teeth to its military capabilities in the Andaman and Nicobar island territories, India will get a new airbase at the archipelago in the Indian Naval Air Station (INAS) Kohasa near Diglipur.
"The base has been readied for operations of helicopters and small transport aircraft and gives an optional landing and operating base to military pilots while operating in the island territories, which are stretched over around 1,000 kilometer from top to bottom," a Navy official told ANI.
The facility was earlier known as INS Shivpur and has been renamed as INS Kohasa after the extension of facilities at the base, he said.
The new base would be in addition to the Port Blair, Car Nicobar and Navy's INS Baaz facility at the greater Nicobar islands there and is scheduled to be inaugurated by the Andaman and Nicobar Command chief Vice Admiral Bimla Verma on January 24 this month.
India has been steadily upgrading its military capabilities in the Andaman and Nicobar territories for the last many years.
Due to the strategic location of the island territories near the mouth of the Malacca Straits from where over 70 per cent of the merchant ships operate, they are very important in the Navy's game-plan to keep control over the activities in the Indian Ocean region.
India's only tri-services operational command also exists in the Andamans where the members of the three services operate under one Navy officer. Earlier, the command was headed by officers from three services on a rotational basis but for around the last three years, it has been held by a Navy officer only.
India wants to develop a model similar to the Andaman ones to create Theatre Commands and a number of efforts are being made in this direction.
The Andamans have a large presence of the Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and the Army who practice amphibious warfare. (ANI)