Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has activated a donated maritime surveillance radar system in the Seychelles and promised to donate another Do 228 surveillance aircraft to the island nation during a visit there last week.
On 11 March Modi launched the Coastal Surveillance Radar station located on a mountainous central region of the main island of Mahé, describing it as another symbol of the cooperation between the two countries, reports the Seychelles News Agency.
In early 2012 India and the Seychelles signed several agreements related to maritime security in the Indian Ocean, including a pact for the supply of a coastal surveillance radar system worth $10 million (140 million rupees), and Dornier surveillance aircraft.
During his visit last week, Modi also announced that a second Dornier surveillance aircraft would be donated to the Seychelles Coast Guard to increase maritime security. The first Dornier Do 228 was given to the Seychelles in early 2013.
“Our security partnership is strong. It has enabled us to fulfil our shared responsibility to advance maritime security in the region,” said Modi. “It is a privilege to be a partner of Seychelles in the development of its security capabilities.”He added that the radar system is part of a regional surveillance network being installed in several Indian Ocean island states and hoped the Seychelles would become a full partner in the maritime security cooperation arrangement between India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka.
India has had bilateral relations with the Seychelles since it gained independence in 1976, especially in the fields of health, education and defence. In November last year India donated a second 46 metre SDB Mk 5 patrol boat to the Seychelles, the PS Constant, nine years after donating the PS Topaz (formerly INS Tarmugli) in 2005.
INS Tarasa is an SDB Mk 5 patrol boat built by India's state-owned Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers in Kolkata and refurbished by the Naval Dockyard Mumbai. She has a displacement of 319 tons, a maximum speed of 28 knots and a complement of 24.
The Seychelles Coast Guard fleet further expanded in April 2014 when China donated the 38 metre Etoile patrol boat, built specifically for the Seychelles. The new vessels join the Topaz, Andromache, La Fleche and Le Vigilant (the latter two donated by the UAE). China previously donated two Y-12 aircraft for maritime surveillance.