Underlining India's aspirations in the Indian Ocean, Modi gifts a fast patrol vessel to Seychelles - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Stuff.

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Thursday, 8 April 2021

Underlining India's aspirations in the Indian Ocean, Modi gifts a fast patrol vessel to Seychelles

Indian-built warships are already serving with Sri Lanka and Mauritius. Now PS Zoroaster joins Seychelles Coast Guard


By Ajai Shukla

 

In the sort of “virtual ceremony” that has become routine during the Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted the Republic of Seychelles an Indian-built Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) that will be operated by the island nation as Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG) PS Zoroaster.

 

The virtual handing over was also attended by the presence of the President of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan.

 

PS Zoroaster has been built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) as part of a line of Fast Patrol Vessels being built for the Indian Coast Guard. 

 

With a maximum speed of 34 knots and an endurance of more than 1500 nautical miles, the PS Zoroaster is a powerful, fuel-efficient platform designed to perform multipurpose operations, such as patrolling, anti-smuggling, anti-poaching, and search and rescue (SAR). 

 

The 50 metre-long FPV has a waterjet propulsion system, advanced controls and a 40/60 gun as the main armament.

 

It has the capability to undertake a range of maritime missions of the Seychelles Coast Guard. The vessel also has improved habitability features with fully air-conditioned modular accommodation for 35 personnel. 

 

The overall design of the FPV has been developed in-house by GRSE, which shall also be supporting the ship at Seychelles for three years.

 

Modi, in his address, stated that India is committed to strengthening the maritime security of Seychelles and this new state-of-the-art ‘Made in India’ FPV would help the Seychelles Coast Guard to protect its maritime resources.

 

The President of Seychelles Wavel Ramkalawan acknowledged that India’s donation of the FPV PS Zoroaster would reinforce the efforts of the two nations to combat maritime crimes, with specific emphasis on counter narcotic operations within the vast maritime zones of the two nations. 

 

He added that the state-of-the art FPV represents a key element in achieving this objective as well as enabling the Seychelles Coast Guard to fulfil its principle mission of defending the Seychelles territory, thus contributing to regional stability and security.

          

In 2015, GRSE delivered to the Mauritius Coast Guard a multipurpose, compact, Offshore Patrol Vessel called CGS Barracuda, thereby becoming the first Indian shipyard to have exported a warship. GRSE is presently repairing and maintaining the ship at Kolkata. 

 

GRSE has proven capabilities along with a dedicated yard for building Fast Patrol Vessels and Offshore Patrol Vessels. Recently, GRSE also bagged an order for construction and supply of an ocean-going passenger and cargo vessel for the Republic of Guyana, underlining its claim to becoming a global player in warship building.

 

Since its inception as a Defence PSU in 1960, GRSE has built 788 platforms which includes 107 warships -- the highest number of warships built and delivered by any shipyard in the country. 

 

GRSE has the capability to construct 20 ships concurrently, using its modernized infrastructure and modular integrated construction philosophy. GRSE’s dedicated, multi-disciplinary, in-house design team is working towards developing various concept designs for the current and future requirements of Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard. 


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