Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command inaugurated the Indian Naval Air Enclave, Santa Cruz (NAE Scz) at Santa Cruz, Mumbai today. The new Indian Naval Air Enclave has a big hangar and a large dispersal, on land owned by the Navy, adjacent to the Runway and the taxi track.
This is a significant development from the point of view of Naval Operations, since, it now provides Indian Navy, 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. This gives a major boost to the surveillance and offensive measures on the areas of interest in the Western Seaboard.
P8I LRMR aircraft are presently operating from their base at Arakkonam, near Chennai. With the operationalization of the NAE at Santa Cruz, the Indian Navy can operate the P8I’s from this enclave thereby enabling them to operate for longer durations in the Arabian Sea resulting in vast area coverage.
In his address, Vice Admiral Girish Luthra complimented the efforts of all those involved in creating this facility. He said that the city of Mumbai and Indian Navy have had long standing relations which were not restricted to the Dockyard or harbour areas. He amplified that, decades ago, naval helicopters and Super Constellation surveillance aircrafts operated from the same airport. He thanked, among others, Airport Authority of India, MIAL, CISF, Air India, contractors and Military Engineering Service for their support and co-operation in operationalizing this facility and solicited their continued support and cooperation in the future.