The Navy has plans for expansion of its strategic Karwar naval base in Karnataka under the Project Seabird Phase IIA which involves construction of a wide range of new facilities and augmentation of certain existing facilities. The expansion project will cost over Rs 10,000 crore. Navy will be capable to berth around 30 major warships at Karwar after the completion of Phase-IIA by 2017-18.
What is Project Seabird ?
- First approved in 1985 at an initial cost of Rs 350 crore, since then it has been hindered by long delays and fund insufficiencies.
- Phase-I has already been completed, has made the Navy capable to deploy more than 15 warships at Karwar.
- Phase-II will empower the Karwar naval station with an airbase, armament depot, dockyard complex and missile silos, apart from additional jetties, berthing and anchorage facilities.
What are the objectives of Project Seabird ?
- The Project Seabird aims to ease the naval dockyards in Mumbai which is clogged due to increased traffic and pollution.
- Another major reason is to establish a major base at some distance from Pakistani cities and range of their missiles.
- The base will be used for deploying Russian-origin aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, Scorpene submarines and carry out military aircraft operations.