India to Get Long Range Missile Test Facilities in Indian Ocean
15:22 06.06.2017(updated 15:26 06.06.2017)
India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has got governmental approval to set up the country's land based long-range missile facility at South Andaman's Rutland Island, which is some 200 km from the Strait of Malacca that connects the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea.
New Delhi (Sputnik) – India's National Board of Wildlife cleared the proposal sent by DRDO in 2012 for creating infrastructure facilities for strategic surveillance system at Rutland Island. Facility will have a missile test range for testing of long range missile.
"After discussions, considering the strategic importance of the project for the country's defense, the Standing Committee decided to recommend the proposal along with the conditions and mitigation measures prescribed by the State Chief Wildlife Warden," a document released by India's Ministry of Environment and Forests said.
The proposal involves diversion of 49.978 acres forest of which 0.84 hectare falls in the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park and 49.138 hectare reserve forest within 10km of the Eco Sensitive Zone.
Currently, Indian scientists test long range missiles from the Odisha coast and are tracked by naval vessels on a trajectory into the Bay of Bengal. Work on technology demonstration vessel for DRDO, which is capable of tracking the full flight of long-range naval missile systems during test firing, has been in progress at the Cochin Shipyard.
On May 16 this year, the Narendra Modi government had also cleared the Indian Navy proposal to expand Shibpur naval air station in the northern part of the Andaman Island. Indian armed forces operate Dornier, Mi-8, Chetak aircraft from NAS Shibpur airfield, which after the expansion would be approximately 100 hectares and serve larger aircraft.
The Indian armed forces have been expanding their strength at strategically important Andaman and Nicobar Islands since long. In March this year, the Indian Navy had commissioned the first of its eight amphibious landing craft at tri-service command headquarters in Port Blair. India also has an IAF base at Car Nicobar, named Carnic air force base and naval base Kardip, located on Camorta Island, a part of the Nancowry group of islands.
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