After inking a security cooperation agreement with Maldives last year, India has decided to significantly upgrade defence ties with Seychelles and provide the island nation a maritime surveillance aircraft and two helicopters, besides intensifying patrolling operations in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The cooperation, which includes enhanced training and capacity building of the nation’s forces, was finalised after Seychelles requested India to assist it in dealing with the increased threat of piracy near its waters. The decision to increase cooperation was announced during Defence Minister A K Antony’s visit to the nation. The minster is leading a high-powered delegation to the country.
The aircraft are being provided over and above a $ 5 million assistance to the island nation for defence-related projects to strengthen its security forces. The two Chetak helicopters and a Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft will be delivered in just over a year. The orders for the aircraft have been placed with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).