Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command inaugurated the Indian Naval Air Enclave in suburban Santacruz here today. “This (enclave) is a significant development from the point of view of naval operations, since it now provides the Indian Navy the capability to stage through all types of fixed wing aircraft held in the naval inventory, including the highly potent and versatile Boeing P8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance (LRMR) aircraft,” a Defence spokesperson said.
This gives a major boost to the surveillance and offensive measures on the Western seaboard, he said. The P8I LRMR aircraft are presently operating from their base at Arakkonam, near Chennai. With the operationalisation of the NAE at Santacruz, the Navy can now operate them from this enclave, thereby enabling them to operate for longer durations in the Arabian Sea, resulting in vast area coverage.
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The enclave has a big hangar and a large dispersal, on land owned by the Navy, adjacent to the runway and taxi track. All relevant clearances and approval have been obtained, he said. Vice Adm Luthra lauded the efforts of those involved in creating this facility. He also thanked personnel from MIAL, CISF, Air India and AAI Mumbai for their support and cooperation in operationalising it.