New Delhi/Bengaluru. The External Affairs Minister Mrs Sushma Swaraj handed over HAL Do- 228 aircraft to the President, Republic of Seychelles, Mr. Danny Faure at a ceremony in New Delhi on June 26. With this, the Maritime surveillance of the island nation received the much needed boost.
Appreciating India’s support, Mr. Faure described the `momentous occasion’ as historical day and said the inclusion of HAL Do-228 aircraft would bolster the coastal surveillance of Seychelles and provide strategic depth to policing its extensive Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The aircraft has come at the right time and would be flown on the forthcoming 42nd Independence Day of Seychelles on June 29, signifying the strong relations between the two countries.
Describing the event yet another milestone in furthering bilateral defence cooperation between India and Seychelles, Mrs Swaraj said, “The handing over of HAL Do 228 to Seychelles reflects the firm commitment and continued engagement of the Government of India in further developing, consolidating and expanding the comprehensive multifaceted cooperation between India and Seychelles”. Mrs Swaraj also handed over airworthiness certificate of the aircraft to the President of Seychelles.
General (Dr) V K Singh (Retd) Union Minister of State for External Affairs, who was present on the occasion, handed over the symbolic key to the President of Seychelles.
Mr. T Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL in his welcome address hailed the event as ‘proud moment’ for HAL as the aircraft has been delivered ahead of schedule and accepted by the Seychelles Air Force. “We have provided hands-on training to the pilots and technical staff from Seychelles. We are committed to extend full-fledged support to the teams involved with its maintenance and operations of the aircraft”, he added.
Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, DCNS, Senior officials from Seychelles, MEA, MOD and HAL were present on the occasion.