Indian Navy Sub-Hunting Reconnaissance Aircraft Touches Down in Seychelles
17:57 23.03.2016(updated 18:03 23.03.2016)
The Indian navy has deployed a P 8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft to the Seychelles to undertake surveillance of the 115-island archipelago, which is located off the coast of East Africa.
The Indian Navy has deployed one of its most advanced maritime patrol aircraft to the archipelago nation as part of an agreement with the country's government to provide aerial surveillance of archipelago's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), The Diplomat reported.
The Boeing P 8I is a long-range maritime patrol aircraft that can conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (AsuW), intelligence, maritime patrol, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
The Indian Ministry of Defense stated it deployed the aircraft to the islands on March 20 – 23, to undertake surveillance of the Seychelles EEZ and facilitate closer ties with the Seychelles People's Defence Force (SPDF).
"The deployment of the Indian Navy's latest and technologically most advanced maritime reconnaissance aircraft is an indicator of India's commitment towards ensuring the security of Seychelles EEZ. This deployment would assist in curbing illegal activities and piracy as well as contribute towards security and stability in the Indian Ocean Region."
The Diplomat reported that the deployment is one of a series of moves to develop defense ties between the two nations, who last month completed their seventh joint military exercise.
According to the report, the Seychelles, which has a population of less than 90,000 people, wants to improve its military to protect against pirates operating off the coast of Somalia, and India wants to assert its naval presence in the Indian Ocean because China is constructing its first overseas naval base in Djibouti.
The Seychelles recently agreed to allocate land on Assumption Island for India to build its first naval base in the Indian Ocean region, and India is also slated to set up its own coastal radar system in the country.
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