India handed over HAL-built Do-228 surveillance aircraft to the Seychelles Air Force ahead of schedule during a ceremony in New Delhi, Tuesday.
India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the President, Republic of Seychelles, Danny Faure were present at a handover ceremony.
Appreciating India’s support, 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).
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”. India also handed over airworthiness certificate of the aircraft to Seychelles.
The Do- 228, manufactured by HAL is equipped with combination of 360 deg Surveillance Radar, Forward Looking Infra-Red System, Satellite Communication, Traffic Collision and Avoidance System, Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System and host of other customer specified sensors.
T Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL, said: “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”.
The HAL Do-228 aircraft is a high wing monoplane with a cantilevered wing and two turboprop engines in wing-mounted pod designed for multipurpose utility like EEZ Monitoring, Maritime Surveillance, Pollution Monitoring and Control, Search and Rescue and commuter services. The cockpit is designed to accommodate two crew members and is fitted with duplicate controls. The cabin can accommodate 19 passengers in commuter configuration.