The Mauritius National Coast Guard has inducted a third Do 228 aircraft into service and will use it to patrol the nation’s coastline.
The aircraft was commissioned into service on 14 July. It was ordered on 27 November 2014 from India and was built there by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Special mission equipment has been added to the aircraft for its maritime surveillance role, including a 360 degree surveillance radar, Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) system, Traffic Collision and Avoidance System and weather radar.
The National Coast Guard’s Maritime Air Squadron at Port Louis-Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport acquired its first Do 228 in July 1990 and a second in March 2004.
Mauritius has received a significant amount of assistance from India regarding maritime security, and on March 12 the Coast Guard commissioned ten 14.5 metre Fast Interceptor Boats (FIBs) from India’s Goa Shipyards Limited. They were delivered in two batches in January and February this year for securing the nation’s maritime boundaries.
The bulk of the FIBs will be used to conduct day and night patrols and periodic Special Forces Operations (SFOs) in shallow waters. Some of the vessels will be stationed on Rodrigues, the second biggest island, to provide emergency Search and Rescue (SAR) services to the residents of the isles around it.
Goa Shipyards Limited will, by the end of 2017, deliver two Fast Attack Craft (CGS Victory and CGS Valiant) to Mauritius. One of the two 50 metre long, waterjet-powered fast attack craft (CGS Victory) was launched in India in February and is due to be delivered to Port Louis by the end of this year.
The total cost of the 10 FIBs, two fast attack craft and the Do 228 was $27 million, which was paid through a loan facility advanced to the government of Mauritius by the Export-Import Bank of India. The ten interceptors were ordered from Goa Shipyard Limited on 4 April 2014 for a total sum of $6 million.