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Karwar being developed as third major naval base on west coast

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by SpArK, May 19, 2011.

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  1. SpArK

    SpArK SorCeroR Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    Karwar being developed as third major naval base on west coast


    New Delhi, May 18 (PTI) India is moving fast to set-up its third major naval base after Mumbai and Cochin on the western coast at Karwar in Karnataka.

    Defence Minister A K Antony will inaugurate an integrated defence-civilian township at Karwar on May 21 with 326 dwelling units under "Project Seabird", also known as Karwar Project.

    "The township will accommodate defence and civilian employees posted at Karwar. It is part of the Project Seabird which was aimed to transform Karwar into a state-of-art major naval base on western coast with docking facilities for an aircraft carrier-size vessel," Navy officials said here today.

    Completed at a cost of Rs 2400 crore approximately, the phase one of the project has seen commissioning of base ship INS Kadamba in 2005 and a ship-lift facility in 2006 along with a hospital and the township which would be inaugurated on Saturday.

    "Presently, 10 different ships of various class and size are based at Karwar, biggest of them being a tanker- -vessel," the officials added.


    The foundation stone for Project Seabird was laid down by the then Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi in 1986, but the plan went through massive delays because of financial crunch.

    The Defence Minister will also inaugurate a ship-lift facility for constructing naval vessels at Goa Shipyard Limited. He would be accompanied by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma and other senior officers of Western Naval Command.

    Karwar being developed as third major naval base on west coast -  National News
     
  2. Capt.Popeye

    Capt.Popeye Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    This is long overdue. Bombay harbor just cannot physically handle the maritime traffic that it has. Even the Merchant vessels being handled are at their peak. Then there are incidents like the "Vindhyagiri" incident. It was waiting to happen. The traffic movements are handled by the Civilian Port trust which is scarcely managing. Karwar must be operated as a purely Naval facility. There is a small civilian port there that ought to be kept separate. While Bombay can base smaller (and agile) Naval Ships and be used for administration, repair and refit and training.

    Though I am not so certain how much of the Navy wants to shift to Karwar yet, considering that the Navy has invested so heavily over the years in facilities in Bombay (not just operational facilities).
    But the way out is as I have outlined earlier; and if need be MoD must push the Navy to accelerate the move to Karwar as a primarily operational base and a sole preserve of the Navy.
     
  3. tariqkhan18

    tariqkhan18 Major Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    INS Kadamba is part of an initiative of the Indian Navy to develop a blue water navy and to acquire strategic depth. The project was first envisioned by the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Oscar Stanley Dawson during the 1980s. However, the initiative was not adopted intil 1999, under the tenure of Defence Minister, George Fernandes, who spearheaded a new drive to realise the project under the name Project Seabird.

    The first phase of Project Seabird, completed in 2005 involved the construction of a large new naval base (INS Kadamba) at Karwar in Karnataka, for exclusive use by the Indian Navy. The primary motivation for building a new base on the western coast is the overcrowding at the major harbours of Mumbai and Vishakhapatnam, as well as at the smaller ports of Kochi and Goa, which the Indian Navy has to share with commercial vessels. On the east coast, Visakhapatnam can provide berths for fifty vessels, which is adequate for India’s security needs in the east. However, the west coast ports are congested with merchant vessels, particularly Mumbai. This often forces Western Naval Command vessels to wait before they can dock. The shallow approach channel at Mumbai may also make it impossible for larger aircraft carriers of the future to dock.

    The crowded Mumbai harbour also provides no opportunity for expansion, especially because of sensitive nearby buildings like the Bombay Stock Exchange. Establishing a dedicated Naval base at Karwar will alleviate these problems, and provide strategic depth to the Indian Navy. The topography of Karwar bay is also favourable with a deep, even approach channel of water for navigation and berthing, low silt deposit rates, and forested terrain for privacy.

    Other locations considered were Thiruvananthapuram, Kannur and Thoothukudi. Further development of the base will include Phase II (to double most of the existing facilities), a new naval air station and ultimately enough berths for fifty naval vessels. Efforts have been initiated by the Karnataka state government and the Airports Authority of India in conjunction with the Navy to plan for an international airport that can handle A320s.[1]

    INS Kadamba - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  4. Osiris

    Osiris Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Antony to review defence projects in Goa, Karwar

    NEW DELHI: Defence minister A K Antony will review two crucial defence projects this weekend, the modernization work at Goa Shipyard and the upcoming strategic Karwar naval base in coastal Karnataka.

    As first reported by TOI, the defence ministry has approached the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for a major expansion of the Karwar base, which in the future will house frontline warships like aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and Scorpene attack submarines.

    The proposed expansion under Phase-II of 'Project Seabird' at Karwar, which unfortunately has suffered from protracted delays, fund crunches and truncated clearances since it was first approved way back in 1985, will enable Navy to base an additional 20 big warships and 10 yard-craft over the existing Phase-I capacity of 11 warships and 10 yard-craft there.

    While the Phase-I has cost Rs 2,628.82 crore, Phase-II will be worth over Rs 3,000 crore. The aim is to have berthing facilities for at least 30 major warships at Karwar by 2017-2018. There will be another expansion thereafter to ensure Karwar can handle 50 major warships.

    Karwar will not only decongest the over-crowded Mumbai harbour, though the naval dockyard there will continue to house some warships, but also provide India with much-needed strategic depth and operational flexibility on the western seaboard.

    As for the Goa shipyard, Antony will commission the first and second phases of its infrastructure modernization, which has been completed at a cost of around Rs 400 crore.

    "The project will boost the shiplift facility and piers, two repair berths and transfer area at the defence shipyard. The minister will also lay the foundation stone for the third and fourth phases, which will cost another Rs 400 crore," said an official.

    Antony to review defence projects in Goa, Karwar - The Times of India
     
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