Second Mauritian fast attack craft keel laid


India’s Goa Shipyard Limited has laid the keel of the second 50 metre fast attack craft being built for the Mauritius Police Force.

The shipyard said the ceremony was held at its facilities on 22 May and was attended by Rear Admiral Ravneet Singh, NM, Flag Officer Commanding Goa Naval Area and Naval Aviation, and Rear Admiral Shekhar Mital, NM, IN (Retd) Chairman and Managing Director, Goa Shipyard Limited.

The contract was signed on 7 May 2014 in Port Louis, Mauritius by Mrs K. O. Fong Weng-Poorun, Senior Chief Executive of the Prime Minister’s Office and Rear Admiral Mital.

The keel laying ceremony for the first fast attack craft was held on December 18 last year. Both vessels are scheduled to be delivered from January 2016 to the Mauritius Police Force National Coast Guard.

The fast attack craft are 50.44 metres long and are propelled by water jets giving a speed of 35 knots. They will be used for defence and protection work, surveys, pollution control, coastal patrol, anti-smuggling, anti-poaching, search and rescue, fisheries protection and monitoring of foreign chartered trawlers, amongst other duties.

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 addition to the two fast attack craft, Mauritius in May last year also ordered $1.4 million worth of arms, ammunition, bullet resistant vests and helmets and medium/heavy machine guns for 10 fast interceptor boats. The contract for the design, construction and delivery of these ten boats was signed with Goa Shipyard Limited on 9 April 2014 and is worth $6 million while one additional boat, for the Mauritius Revenue Authority, was ordered in May last year. The 14.5 metre long boats will have a cruising speed of 20 knots and a top speed of 35 knots. The first keel was laid on 2 June 2014.

The Mauritius Coast Guard further had its fleet boosted by the delivery of the 1 300 tonne offshore patrol vessel Barracuda. It was handed over by India’s Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) in the port city of Kolkata on 20 December last year. It was ordered in March 2011 for $58.5 million.

The CGS Barracuda is based on the Kora class corvettes built for the Indian Navy by state-owned GRSE. The 74.1 metre long vessel has a crew of 83. Range is approximately 5 000 nautical miles. She is powered by two MTU 16V 4000 M53 diesel engines rated at 1 840 kW, each driving two controllable pitch propellers through ZF Marine gearboxes and giving a top speed of 22.5 knots (42 km/h) against the requirement of 20 knots (37 km/h).

Barracuda was ordered to patrol Mauritius’s vast exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which covers 1.9 million square kilometres. Her main tasks are combating piracy, smuggling, illegal fishing and drug trafficking.

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 and two Do 228 maritime surveillance aircraft.