India delivers fast patrol vessel to Mauritius


India’s Goa Shipyard Limited has delivered the fast patrol vessel MCGS Victory to Mauritius, which is due to receive a second next year.

The vessel was ceremonially handed over to K Jhugroo, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mauritius Police Force, on 26 September at Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) in the presence of senior officials from Mauritius and India. According to the Mauritius Police Force, it is expected to arrive in Mauritius sometime this month.

The contract for the vessel was signed on 17 May 2014 and the keel was laid on 18 December that year. “Despite all the challenges, including delay of over six months in supply of steel and being the first ship of the series, we have successfully delivered this ship as per contractual schedule of September, 2016, i.e. within 20 months of keel laying which is a record in itself, and is in line with the track record of GSL in recent years of timely deliveries and shows the dedication and commitment of all the stakeholders involved,” chairman and managing director of Goa Shipyard Shekhar Mital said.

MCGS Victory will be used for coastal patrols, counter-piracy, search and rescue, counter-smuggling and anti-poaching.

The vessel is 48 metres long and is fitted with a 30 mm CRN-91 cannon and 12.7 mm and 7.62 mm machineguns. It is powered by three waterjets, each driven by an MTU 16V4000 M90 diesel engine, giving a top speed of 35 knots. Range is more than 1 500 nautical miles and endurance is seven days.

Mauritius will receive a second fast patrol vessel, MCGS Valiant, in 2017. The island nation is strengthening its maritime capabilities, and on 12 March this year commissioned ten 14.5 metre Fast Interceptor Boats (FIBs) from Goa Shipyards Limited. The boats were delivered in two batches in January and February this year.

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.

Each boat has a top speed of 35 knots with a cruising speed of 20 knots, along with an endurance of over 200 km. The boats were ordered along with machineguns, ammunition and body armour for the crews.

The Mauritius National Coast Guard on 14 July inducted a third Do 228 aircraft into service to patrol the nation’s coastline. 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 total cost of the ten FIBs, two fast attack craft and one Do 228 aircraft 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.