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India is making strategic moves to tighten its grip on the Indian Ocean by establishing new naval and air bases in the Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands. This expansion strengthens India’s ability to secure vital sea lanes of communication and project power in the Indo-Pacific region.

The Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands hold a critical geographical position, straddling the nine-degree channel, a key passage for billions of dollars’ worth of trade between Southeast and North Asia. The Minicoy Islands, just 524 kilometers from the Maldives, present a unique strategic advantage.

The Modi government’s plan includes:

  • Building a new airstrip on Minicoy island: This will enhance air connectivity and facilitate rapid deployment of resources.
  • Upgrading the airstrip on Agatti island: This will improve logistics and support operations.
  • Stationing naval assets at INS Jatayu: This move will bolster India’s maritime presence in the region.

These advancements align with the Modi government’s vision of leveraging its island territories to project power and ensure maritime security in the Indo-Pacific. The strategic location of Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands, coupled with the existing infrastructure in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, creates a formidable network for safeguarding vital trade routes.

This development comes amidst China’s growing naval presence in the Indian Ocean, raising concerns about regional security. India’s proactive approach serves as a countermeasure, ensuring the freedom of navigation and upholding its strategic interests in the region.

The establishment of these new bases signifies India’s commitment to securing its maritime frontiers and promoting stability in the Indo-Pacific. This move is likely to be closely watched by regional and global powers, with potential implications for the evolving geopolitical landscape.