India gifted two fast interceptor boats and 44 Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) to Mozambique on Monday, July 29, to boost military cooperation between the two countries.
New Delhi and Maputo are likely to sign three pacts during Indian defense minister Rajnath Singh’s 3-day visit to the African nation starting 28 July, with the objective of boosting bilateral military ties. “India is willing to forge a strong bilateral relationship with Mozambique by increasing regular engagement and cooperation in multiple spheres,” Singh tweeted after his arrival in the country.
Mozambique is likely to share valuable white shipping information, allow Indian naval ships to carry out hydrographic surveys in the future, and let India carry out surveillance of Exclusive Economic Zone in return for India’s gift.
The engagement with Mozambique will enable India to blunt China’s influence in Africa which it has been engaging with for over a decade.
Maputo has emerged as one of India's top priorities in foreign relations for its liquid natural gas reserves and its strategic locations, which can be exploited to keep a watch on crucial sea lanes of communications in the Indian Ocean.
The image in one of the tweets posted by the Indian defense ministry hints towards the ship being L&T's fast interceptor craft. The high-speed interceptor boats are being built by L&T Shipyard for the Indian Coast Guard for patrol and rescue operations in India's Exclusive Economic Zone.