India hands over Dornier plane to Seychelles

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 31, 2013 14:40 hrs

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) Defence Minister A.K. Antony Thursday handed over a Dornier surveillance aircraft to Seychelles Foreign Minister Jean Paul Adam, describing it as another "milestone" in the defence cooperation between the two countries.

The Dornier-228 (DO 228), manufactured by the defence public sector undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), will be maintained by an HAL team.

Antony said DO-228 aircraft, extensively used by the Indian Coast Guard, the Navy, Air Force and in the civilian sector for a variety of applications, was a frontline surveillance platform for applications such as maritime reconnaissance, intelligence warfare, search and rescue missions, pollution control and transport.

The minister expressed confidence that the aircraft will prove useful for maritime applications by Seychelles -- an island nation in the Indian Ocean -- as it is fitted with the latest state-of-the-art surveillance and communication equipment.

Antony complimented transport aircraft division of HAL at Kanpur for manufacturing the aircraft three months ahead of schedule. He asked HAL to maintain timelines for the products meant for the Indian armed forces.

Adam thanked New Delhi for the aircraft and said it will revolutionise coastal surveillance of Seychelles, help fight piracy and would be a useful platform for enhancing security.

According to an official release, the DO-228 is a highly reliable, multi-purpose, fuel efficient, rugged, light-weight twin turbo prop aircraft with a retractable tricycle landing gear.

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