Maritime Surveillance: Mauritius Police Force equipped with new patrol vessel and two Chetak Helicopters
As a major step to keep up with the rapid technological advancements in the field of maritime surveillance, a new state-of-the-art ship, CGS Victory, and two Chetak helicopters have been acquired by the Mauritius Police Force/National Coast Guard. The commissioning ceremony was held on Saturday 10 December 2016 at Quay A in Port Louis in the presence of the Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, and the Defence Minister of India, Mr Manohar Parrikar.
In his address, the Prime Minister pointed out that the acquisition of CGS Victory is yet another milestone in the country’s long journey towards enhancing maritime safety and security, especially in the combat against poaching of our marine and fish resources, illicit activities in our seas, including drug trafficking and other types of transnational crimes.
“Our Exclusive Economic Zone and territorial waters, our surrounding islands, national interests and security imperatives, regional commitments and an extremely dynamic geostrategic environment are giving rise to many challenges,” he said.
The Prime Minister stated that with this latest induction, a new dimension is being added to the country’s maritime domain, with the Mauritius Police Force and the National Coast Guard (NCG) better equipped to meet the emerging challenges in the maritime security environment, especially taking into account the vast expanse of ocean that surrounds Mauritius. The NCG which was formally set up in 1988 has been growing at a very steady pace and acquiring assets to meet the challenges resulting out of our geographical set up, he added.
Speaking about the Indo-Mauritian strategic partnership which has reached new dimensions, Sir Anerood Jugnauth announced that the India will assist Mauritius in an integrated development project known as the ‘Trident Project’ which will cater for appropriate infrastructure and facilities and would involve the construction of a new NCG headquarters at Fort William, upgrading of repair facilities for the NCG vessels and construction of a dry docking facility with flotilla support services.
The value of the project is estimated at USD 70 Million and will be financed jointly by the Government of India and the Government of Mauritius at the ratio of 80:20, respectively. For this project, funds to the tune of USD 52.3 Million will be provided under the Indian Line of credit and a one-time grant of USD 4 Million will also be made available by the Indian Government. The remaining USD 12 Million will be financed out of local funds.
For his part, the Defence Minister of India, Mr Manohar Parrikar, said that the induction of CGS Victory and CGS Valiant next year will considerably enhance the EEZ surveillance and patrolling capabilities of the NCG of Mauritius. The supply of the two Chetak helicopters is in line with India’s commitment to augmenting the capacities of the Mauritius Police Force, including in the critical area of search and rescue, he added.
Speaking about the intensification of close ties between the two countries in the coming years, Mr Parrikar pointed out that it will be marked by the implementation of major projects such as the Metro Express, the construction of the new building of the Supreme Court, the headquarters of the NCG of Mauritius, the construction of the new ENT Hospital, supply of digital tablets to primary school children and the social housing project.
The Defence Minister underscored the need to work together to harness the untapped potential of the Ocean Economy sector. There are exciting avenues for cooperation in this sector like fisheries, aquaculture, renewable energy, seabed exploration, and marine biotechnology, he said
CGS Victory and Chetak Helicopters
CGS Victory, built by Goa Shipyard Limited, is equipped with state of the art machineries and cutting-edge technology. Its induction into the NCG will greatly benefit the country in providing maritime security in our waters.
This 50 metres patrol vessel displaces about 288 tons in full load condition and is capable of attaining a maximum speed of 35 Knots. At economical cruising speed, it has an endurance of about 2,000 nautical miles. It can thus service certain of our outer islands as well. The ship is equipped with modern navigation systems, advanced machinery control systems and one Close Range Naval Gun Mount along with an optical fire control system for day and night usage.
The Chetak helicopters, which will form part of the Police Helicopter Squadron, are high performance, multi-role helicopters with tricycle undercarriage. At a maximum speed of maximum 113 kts, they can respond swiftly to any situation and have an endurance of 2 h 24 minutes.