The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony handed over a Dornier surveillance aircraft to the Foreign Minister of Seychelles Mr. Jean Paul Adam at a function here today. The maritime surveillance aircraft will be used to guard the extensive coastline of the island nation in the Indian Ocean. The Dornier 228 manufactured by the defence public sector undertaking, the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) will also be supported by the HAL team for maintenance on site to enable the new user to get the requisite expertise.
The DO-228 is a highly reliable, multi-purpose, fuel efficient, rugged, light weight twin turbo prop aircraft with a retractable tricycle landing gear.
Describing the event as yet another milestone in the defence cooperation between India and Seychelles, Shri Antony said HAL-DO-228 aircraft is being extensively utilized by our various users such as the Coast Guard, the Navy, Air Force and civilians for a variety of applications. He said it is a frontline surveillance platform for applications like maritime reconnaissance, intelligence warfare, search and rescue, pollution control and transport. He expressed confidence that the aircraft will prove useful for maritime applications by Seychelles, as it is fitted with the latest state of the art surveillance and communication equipment.
Shri Antony complimented the transport aircraft division of HAL at Kanpur for manufacturing the aircraft three months ahead of schedule. He asked HAL to maintain timelines for the products meant for the Indian Armed Forces.
The Foreign Minister of Seychelles Mr. Jean Paul Adam thanked New Delhi for the aircraft and said it will revolutionize the coastal surveillance of Seychelles. He said it will not only help Seychelles to fight piracy but would come as a useful platform for security in a broader way. He fondly recalled the cooperation New Delhi has extended to the island nation in their fight against piracy and capacity building in air and maritime surveillance.
Among those present on the occasion included the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral DK Joshi, the Secretary (Defence Production) Shri RK Mathur, Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs Shri Sanjay Singh and the Chairman of HAL Shri RK Tyagi.