India to install coast guard radar system for Seychelles Coast Guard
India will be helping Seychelles with the installation of a coast guard radar system and other defence matters, the Indian High Commissioner said on Friday.
General Dalbir Singh Suhag, a former chief of army staff of the Indian Army, spoke of the donation of the radar system during a handing over ceremony of three ceremonial guns and ammunition and a wave-rider boat gifted by the Indian government.
The handing over of the guns and 500 rounds of ammunition took place on board the INS Gharial – the vessel that transported the guns and ammunition to the island state.
The chief of the Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF), Michael Rosette, explained that the guns will be used in “special national events such as the National Day as well as provide a sense of gravitas and pride.”
The ceremonial saluting guns with ammunition were gifted by the Indian government following a request from Seychelles’ President Wavel Ramkalawan.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, also received a wave-rider boat, the third addition to the two already in the fleet of the coast guard.
Seychellois personnel have been trained to use the newest addition of radar equipment to the Seychelles Coast Guard’s fleet, which will help in the coastal surveillance of the island nation.
This surveillance system is not the first that India has donated to Seychelles. In 2015, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Seychelles to launch the first Coastal Surveillance Radar station at Ma Josephine, a mountainous central region of the main island of Mahe.
Suhag said that India and Seychelles have a good relationship and “many common domains of concerns such as terrorism, and illegal and irregular fishing,”
Last month, military personnel from Seychelles and India took part in a 10-day Exercise ‘Lanmitye’ where they conducted simulated counterinsurgency, counter-terrorism and anti-piracy operations.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has a longstanding cooperation with India in defence and security. This includes maritime security, anti-piracy operations, air surveillance, training and capacity building.
India is one of Seychelles’ oldest and closest military partners and has provided patrol ships, aircraft and helicopters to its defence forces over the years since the country gained independence from Britain in 1976.