Parrikar To Leave On 3-Day Visit To Mauritius


New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will on Saturday leave on a three-day visit to Mauritius during which he will commission a fast patrol vessel for its Coast Guard and hand over two upgraded Cheetah helicopters to the local police.

Parrikar will also meet Prime Minister of Mauritius Anerood Jugnauth who also holds the defence portfolio. Defence Ministry sources said both Parrikar and Jugnauth will commission the warship built by the Goa Shipyard Limited tomorrow. The vessel is primarily designed for coastal patrolling, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling, anti-drug surveillance, anti-poaching operations, and search and rescue operations.

The minister will also hand over two upgraded Cheetah helicopters to Mauritius Police’s helicopter unit. He will meet with the President of Mauritius on Sunday and go onboard the offshore patrol vessel Barracuda, the first warship to be exported by India. The ship was commissioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Mauritius last year.

Parrikar will also go onboard INS Darshak, a hydrographic survey ship of the Indian navy, which is at present in Mauritian waters. The sources said the visit is aimed at deepening close political and bilateral strategic ties between the two countries.