From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : INS Baaz
Mains level : Maritime Security in Bay of Bengal region
- Recently Navy Chief Admiral visited INS Baaz, the southernmost air station of the Indian Armed Forces.
- The Indian Naval Station (INS) ‘Baaz’ was commissioned in July 2012, and is the southernmost air station of the Indian Armed Forces.
- INS Baaz is located at Campbell Bay on the Great Nicobar island, the southernmost and largest island in the UT of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- It is a part of the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the only tri-services formation of the Indian Armed Forces that was started in 2001.
- This island is also the location of the Indira Point and is less than 250 km by sea from Banda Aceh in Indonesia.
- Campbell Bay, where the base is located, is more than 1,500 km away from the Indian mainland, and 500 km from Port Blair.
- The A&N Islands are strategically important for India’s national security as they provide a critical capability to monitor sea areas in the region.
- The primary functions of the INS Baaz include helping build Maritime Domain Awareness by providing information via airborne surveillance using aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
- The base was first equipped with a runway of 3,500 feet but was later lengthened to enable larger aircraft to operate from it.
- The location has been described as India’s “window into East and Southeast Asia”, and is in close vicinity of the Six Degree Channel, also called the Great Channel.
- It is one of the Indian Ocean’s busiest shipping lines, carrying strategic cargo to East Asian countries.
- It is also close to the Strait of Malacca. The INS Baaz helps to ensure maritime security in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
- The base also assists the local populace in times of need such as facilitating evacuation during medical emergencies.