Kochi:  Strengthening its presence in the strategically important Lakshadweep Islands, Indian Navy on Monday commissioned its latest base "INS Dweeprakshak" at Kavaratti in the Union Territory which would also help in effective coastal surveillance in the region.

"Lakshadweep Islands form the maritime frontiers of our country on the western side" and the commissioning of a full- fledged Naval base was another milestone in the commitment of the Indian Navy to maintain effective coastal surveillance and defence capability, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command Vice Admiral K N Sushil said.

Sushil, who commissioned the base, said radar stations and other surveillance measures were in place for ship traffic monitoring and intelligence gathering, a Naval release quoted him as having said.

The Navy had been operating a detachment at Kavaratti since the early 1980s. With the commissioning of INS Dweeprakshak, the island territories in the Arabian Sea would see calibrated strengthening of assets in step with their growing relevance to the security calculus of the nation.

A firmer footing in the islands, which are spread out astride some of the busiest shipping lanes of the world, would provide the necessary wherewithal to the Indian Navy to discharge its responsibilities suitably, the release said.

Indian warships on patrol would now extend their reach farther with base support from INS Dweeprakshak.

Commanding Officer INS Dweeprakshak will also function as Naval Officer-in-Charge, Lakshadweep and Minicoy.