Mumbai: The Indian Navy will commission INS Shikra, its first helicopter base in the country, in south Mumbai on Thursday. The base will be commissioned by chief of naval staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta.
The air station began operations in 1964 with a small helicopter maintenance unit. It now provides support, maintenance and navigational aid to helicopters operating from naval ships around Mumbai.
The base operates the Sea King, Kamov-28, Kamov-31 and Chetak helicopters and also provides air traffic control to civil and military helicopters operating in the south Mumbai region.
The proximity of the base to the Mumbai High oil fields and Saurashtra region of Gujarat make it an important link in the chain of defence installations in the region, officials said.