Saturday, 29 November 2014

One Dornier aircraft sale to Mauritius boosts India's defence exports by 60 per cent!

Mauritius and HAL sign a contract for an HAL-built Dornier at Port Louis on November 27, 2014.

In a Rs 100-crore boost to India’s defence exports, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) have signed a contract in Mauritius for the supply of a Dornier-228 maritime surveillance aircraft, which is manufactured in HAL’s Kanpur facility. The aircraft will boost Mauritius’ ability to monitor its waters.

On November 28, the defence minister told parliament that India's total defence exports this year were Rs 166 crore. The sale of the Dornier boosts that figure by more than 60 per cent to Rs 266 crore.

HAL has earlier supplied Mauritius with Cheetah, Chetak and Dhruv helicopters, and with two maritime-version Dorniers.

The Dornier-228 is a 19-seater, lightweight, twin turboprop aircraft that can take off in 700 metres and land within 575 metres --- essential requirements for operating from short and semi-prepared airfields. HAL has equipped the aircraft with customer-specified sensors like 360-degree radar, Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR), traffic collision and avoidance system (TCAS) and weather radar.

India seeks to retain close links with Mauritius as an Indian Ocean partner country. Meanwhile, China is offering huge financial incentives to Indian Ocean island states, seeking to build its own relationships in India's backyard. According to various media reports, China has financed almost 50 development projects in Mauritius, including a low-interest loan of $260 million for an airport terminal at Port Louis.

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