GABORONE, Botswana — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has activated the first of the Indian Navy’s planned 32 coastal surveillance radar (CSR) stations in the Seychelles, marking the beginning of the rollout of an Indian-led maritime surveillance project set to have stations in the Seychelles, the Maldives, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.
Modi activated the radar system during his recent tour of the Seychelles as he visited key Indian Ocean region allies in a move some military strategists view as an effort to forge a strong alliance to counter aggressive expansion by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) in the region since October.
Addressing senior Indian Navy and Seychelles Coast Guard officers during the commissioning, Modi said India’s plan includes setting up radar stations in the Seychelles, Mauritius and the Maldives. Negotiations to set up at least 10 more in Sri Lanka are ongoing.
He said the CSRs will improve the operational capabilities of the maritime security forces of partner nations and the overall security of the exclusive economic zones which make up the region’s “blue economy.”
“We regard Seychelles as a vital partner in our Indian Ocean neighborhood. Our relationship is unique and special. It is founded on a deep sense of mutual trust and confidence. Our security partnership is strong and has enabled us to fulfill our shared responsibility to advance maritime security in the region,” he said.
“It is a privilege to be a partner of the Seychelles in the development of its security capabilities. We also hope that Seychelles will soon be a full partner in the maritime security cooperation between India, Maldives and Sri Lanka,” Modi said.
Read More:India Developing Network of Coastal Radars.