A full fledged Indian Naval base required in Mauritius

A full fledged Indian Naval base required in Mauritius

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A full fledged Indian Naval base required in Mauritius

The South-west Indian Ocean, along with the Mozambique Channel covering the route towards the Cape of Good Hope and the East coast of Africa, within the area of Indian interest. Particularly because China has been investing heavily in this region, as one of the primary areas of interest.

China has been rapidly expanding its presence in the western Indian Ocean. Apart from building its first foreign military base in Djibouti, it has invested heavily in infrastructure in Africa, particularly ports. Many of these ports are located on the eastern coast of Africa, which lies in the western Indian Ocean, and could turn into Chinese outposts in the future.

India too has been consolidating its naval presence basically in Mauritius and Seychelles. Now it is building military infrastructure on Mauritius’ Agalega Island to increase its presence in the western Indian Ocean.

Over the last few years, a 10,000-foot runway and a jetty have been constructed on the island, which is located over 1,100 kilometre north of the main island of Mauritius.

Military infrastructure under development on Agalega Island.

Current Satellite imagery show hangars large enough to house the Indian Navy’s P-8I Long Range Maritime Recce aircraft are under construction next to the newly-built runway. These aircraft are armed too and are superb submarine hunters. India has already commissioned its second squadron of P8Is at INS HANSA, Goa. So detachment from there can now go for periodic deployment on Agalega.

However it will be just wonderful that we order a flight of 4 more P8Is to be based permanently at Agalega. In addition this naval aviation hub should have a flight of Medium Range Maritime Recce aircraft ( C295 type being made in India ) and a squadron of Dornier 228/ Saras 2 for Short Range Recce and interdiction.

Hangars under construction on Agalega Island

Earlier this week, India had sent a P8I aircraft at the La Réunion Island in the southern Indian Ocean on a five-day mission to undertake coordinated surveillance with French Navy warships in the region. Even in 2020 A P-8I aircraft of the Indian Navy had participated in a joint patrol with France from the Réunion Island in 2020. French Navy personnel were onboard the Indian Navy aircraft during the patrol in the southwest Indian Ocean.

“The P-8I aircraft will engage with French warships and undertake coordinated surveillance missions in area to enhance maritime safety and security in the Southern Indian Ocean, including the Mozambique Channel,” an Indian Navy spokesperson has said.

Finally the Indian Navy should start planning for stationing by 2040 a Carrier Battle Group on permanent basis in Mauritius.This to be the 5th CBG, with the 4th CBG to be stationed in Camranh Bay.