Mauritius Police get new Dhruv helicopter

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India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has delivered a Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) to the government of Mauritius, which will use it for policing duties.

The aircraft arrived in Mauritius on 10 February after apparently being transported by an Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster III airlifter.

HAL signed a contract with Mauritius in January 2022 for one Dhruv Mk III for the Mauritius Police Force (MPF). The improved Mk III version features an all-glass cockpit, an integrated architecture display and automatic flight control systems.

Speaking during the handover, HAL Director of Operations EP Jayadeva said the aircraft was delivered well ahead of schedule and would further boost ties between the two countries.

This comes after the Indian government loaned a single Dhruv to Mauritius in mid-2022 to boost the Coast Guard’s maritime surveillance capabilities. The helicopter is fitted with a rescue hoist, cargo hook, and helicopter-fitted stretchers.

In May last year, the Mauritius Police Force also introduced a recently acquired Do 228 into service after receiving the aircraft from India. The Do 228 was constructed by HAL and financed through an Indian loan. The aircraft (MP-CG-5) was handed over by HAL on 6 April 2022 and is a Passenger Variant equipped with a glass cockpit. In September 2022, India supplied a Do 228 (MSN 4059) to Mauritius under a free lease deal until the new aircraft could be delivered.

The MPF’s Police Helicopter Squadron (PHS) already operates four HAL Chetaks along with an Airbus Helicopters Fennec, and a Dhruv. The Dhruv was delivered in 2009, while two of the Chetaks were delivered in 2016.

The Coast Guard’s Maritime Air Squadron operates a single BN-2T Defender (MP-CG-2) and three Do 228s, delivered by India in 1990 (MP-CG-1), 2004 (MP-CG-3) and 2016 (MP-CG-4). These are equipped with underwing 7.62 mm gun pods.

In early 2021, the Indian government offered Mauritius a $100 million loan to fund the procurement of Indian-made aircraft and naval security equipment for the Mauritius Coast Guard.