Indian military support for Mauritius counterbalances China’s global powerplay

Mauritius does not have a standing military.

The Mauritius Police Force has a 1,500-strong Special Mobile Force which has paramilitary training (provided by the United Kingdom and India) and a 500-strong Coast Guard division with a small number of patrol boats. The CGS Vigilant (an STX Canada Marine PV-75 OPV) is the Coast Guard’s largest vessel.

India ‘gifts’ military equipment to Mauritius

NEW DELHI: As part of the overall policy to build robust maritime linkages with Indian Ocean Region countries to counter China’s widening arc of influence, India has gifted naval aircraft spares and engines to Mauritius.

The Indian Navy handed over the military equipment to the National Coast Guard of Mauritius at Port Louis on Friday evening. The ceremony, held on board Indian warship INS Sukanya, saw high commissioner T P Seetharam handing over three new Islander aircraft engines and critical spares to Dr Arvin Boolell, minister of foreign affairs, regional integration and international trade of the Republic of Mauritius. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Boollel thanked India for the gesture and reiterated the longstanding cooperation between the two countries.

“The consignment of spares will assist NCG Mauritius in keeping its vital air assets operational to patrol their expansive maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) against piracy and poaching as well as aid search and rescue operations,” said an official.

In addition to providing aircraft and aircraft spares, the over three decades old Indo-Mauritian defence relationship includes co-operation in hydrography, supply of patrol vessels and provision of training to Mauritian personnel. The spares were carried by INS Sukanya, which is on a deployment to undertake EEZ surveillance and joint patrols, along with NCG Mauritian ships.

INS Sukanya is under the command of Cdr Dushyant Purohit. During a visit to Mauritius in February this year, Indian Navy chief Admiral D K Joshi had also handed over an inshore hydrographic survey vessel to Mauritius on behalf of India.


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