New Delhi: India will gift an interceptor boat to Indian ocean island Seychelles, as assured by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the archipelago last year.
The interceptor boat, which will be used for patrolling, will be handed over to the Government of Seychelles on January 21. Manufactured by Larsen and Toubro, the fast interceptor boat, which will travel a distance of 1524 nautical miles to Seychelles, will be handed over either by the Director General of Coast Guard or the Indian High Commissioner.
“The Government of Seychelles had made a request to Prime Minister Modi during his visit that they needed a patrol boat. We are fulfilling our commitment,” said a senior Coast Guard official.
A similar interceptor boat is used by India to patrol its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Seychelles too has a huge EEZ. Sources said India will also give a second Dornier aircraft to the country.
Seychelles is strategically located in the Indian Ocean, lying near the vital Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOC). India, wary of Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean region, has been cooperating with the country by undertaking patrolling in its EEZ at its request. It has also gifted it a Dornier and Chetak helicopters.
During his visit to Seychelles in March last year, PM Modi had launched the Coastal Surveillance Radar Project, terming it as yet another symbol of cooperation between the two countries. He had also signed agreements with the Indian Ocean island nation to boost security and maritime partnership. Like Seychelles, India has also given several defence assets to Maldives.