India’s powerplay: The tide is turning in the Indo-Pacific

India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on board INS Vikramaditya to inaugurate a naval base in Minicoy on March 6, 2024. © X/rajnathsingh

New Delhi’s new island chain naval base will have far-reaching consequences for its military presence in the region

India’s powerplay: The tide is turning in the Indo-Pacific — RT India (

By Aaryaman Nijhawan, international relations researcher and political commentator. Aaryaman is a postgraduate of the University of Delhi, India and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University), Russian Federation.

The Indian Navy on Wednesday commissioned its new base INS Jatayu at Minicoy Island of Lakshadweep to bolster its operational capabilities in the strategically important Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The naval base will also enhance operational reach, and support the Indian Navy’s efforts in anti-piracy and anti-narcotics operations in the Western Arabian Sea, New Delhi stated. 

The base will provide New Delhi with significant geopolitical leverage to counter any perceived Chinese aggression along the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC), while significantly extending the power projection capabilities of Indian naval forces, allowing them to ensure greater maritime security and connectivity within the IOR. 

The development of an Indian naval base at the entrance is the ultimate sword of Damocles for Beijing’s economy. While the island sits a mere hundred miles away from the Malacca Strait, any Chinese response to a crisis in the area would be at least 1,500 miles away from Sanya, the nearest naval base.

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