India will increase its maritime presence with support from Mauritius

NewsIndia will increase its maritime presence with support from Mauritius

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Agalega jetty and airstrip will improve India’s and Mauritius’ awareness of the maritime domain. The much-anticipated Agalega airstrip and jetty, which can dock a warship, will be inaugurated today at 1 p.m. by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth of Mauritius, marking a significant step in the country’s maritime expansion into the Indian Ocean. In addition to giving Mauritius and India access to the maritime domain, the Agalega airstrip and jetty will enable the Indian Navy to quickly turn around warships while conducting operations in the South West Indian Ocean and the Eastern Seaboard of Africa.

A Boeing P-8I multimission aircraft can land on the airstrip, and an Indian Navy destroyer or frigate can dock at the jetty. The 3-kilometer airstrip is capable of supporting medium-lift IL-76 and C-130 Hercules, heavy-lift C-17, Boeing P-8I surveillance aircraft, and anti-submarine warfare aircraft. Up to fifty Indian Navy officers and staff are reportedly already stationed on this vital island, and both nations intend to increase the number of people stationed at the Agalega islands even more.

Beyond Agalega, India is working to improve its maritime capabilities. India intends to improve coastal security and maritime domain awareness for friendly countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) with the construction of an air support facility in the north Agalega Islands and the setting up a maritime endorse base in Duqm port, Oman. This is especially important given China’s growing influence in the region. Insiders report that the Duqm port facility has become operational, providing repair, overhaul, and maintenance services for Indian ships, even though official information regarding these changes are still unknown. In a similar vein the airstrip in the north of the Agalega Islands is scheduled to go into service shortly, offering crucial assistance to Mauritius’s efforts to maintain maritime security, including the protection of its tourism resources.

Amidst increased Chinese naval activity in the Indian Ocean, the decision was made to set up assistance centers in Oman and Mauritius. As the Chinese Navy’s Carrier Strike Forces are predicted to patrol the IOR by 2025-2026, national security planners are becoming increasingly concerned about China’s growing naval might.

According to data from South Block, the number of Chinese arteries in the IOR has been steadily rising. Ships for research, surveillance, and ballistic missile monitoring are frequently seen entering the area. China’s persistent pursuit of the Indian Ocean is demonstrated by the recent deployment of PLA Navy ships, scientific ships, and satellite tracking vessels.

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