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India to help Maldives enhance its surveillance capacity

The island nation has sought New Delhi's help in enhancing its security.

NEW DELHI (BNS): India is planning to base two of its helicopters permanently in Maldives for surveillance purposes, one of which will be handed over during Defence Minister A K Antony’s visit to the island nation next week.

According to a media report here, Maldives has sought India’s help in guarding one of its island resorts which is in terrorists’ radar.

Antony is scheduled to visit Maldives on August 22 and will be accompanied by senior Navy officers who will share India’s experience of handling security in the Andaman Nicobar islands chain, the Indian Express reported.

To enhance the country’s surveillance capability, two choppers will be handed over to it – one by the Coast Guard and the other by the Navy.

Besides, India will also help its neighbour set up radars on all its 26 islands for seamless coverage of approaching vessels and aircraft. Its coastal radar chain will be networked with the Indian coastal radar system.

“India has already undertaken the project to install radars along its entire coastline. The radar chains of the two countries will be interlinked and a central control room in India’s Coastal Command will get a seamless radar picture”, the report said.

The Indian Coast Guard will carry out regular Dornier sorties over the island nation to look out for suspicious movements or vessels.

Earlier, the Indian Navy has transferred a fast attack craft to Maldives. INS Tillanchang was gifted to the country in 2006. Besides, a large number of officers of the armed forces of the island nation are given training in various officers training academies in India, the report said.

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