First Mauritius coast guard fast attack craft launched in India

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Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) has launched the first of two fast attack craft for the Mauritius Police Force National Coast Guard.

The shipyard made the announcement on 29 February, saying that the 50 metre vessel was named MCGS Victory during a ceremony attended by the High Commissioner of Mauritius, Jagdishwar Goburdhan. The High Commissioner said the vessel would safeguard their vast maritime zone.

Rear Admiral Shekhar Mital, Chairman and Managing Director of GSL, said that the contract of the vessel was signed on 17 May 2014, while the keel was laid on 18 December 2014. He said the vessel will be delivered ahead of the contractual schedule of Sept 2016. The contract for the second vessel was signed in August 2014.

GSL said the vessel is primarily designed for coastal patrolling, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling, anti-drug surveillance, anti-poaching operations, and search and rescue operations. It is fitted with a 30 mm CRN-91 cannon, 12.7 mm and 7.62 mm machineguns and has a top speed of 35 knots thanks to water jet propulsion.

Goa Shipyard Limited said that the basic design is based on a proven in-house design modified to meet the specific requirements of Mauritius Police Force.

In 2014 Mauritius also ordered ten 14.5 metre fast interceptor boats (FIBs) from Goa Shipyard Limited in a deal worth over $6 million. The 14.5 metre long boats will have a cruising speed of 20 knots and a top speed of 35 knots.

India and Mauritius have enjoyed good political, economic and military relations. Indian navy vessels often patrol Mauritian waters and India has provided military hardware to the country, such as an HAL Dhruv light utility helicopter.

In July last year the government of Mauritius said it would in 2016 provide the National Coast Guard with a new Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL)-built Dornier Do 228 maritime surveillance aircraft from India. Mauritius already operates two Do 228s acquired from HAL.