“It is yet another milestone of our close friendship between our two countries”,said Mr. Antony. He congratulated HAL for delivering the aircraft much ahead of schedule.
The Seychelles Foreign Minister appreciated the gesture and said the DO 228 will enable his country to fight piracy and strengthen the overall security in the Indian Ocean.
“The aircraft to be provided to Seychelles will be supported by HAL team for maintenance on site to enable the new user get the requisite expertise”, said Dr. R. K. Tyagi, Chairman, HAL.
The aircraft is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art facilities and is excellent platform of maritime applications, he added.
Mr. Waven Williams, High Commissioner for Seychelles to India, Major Micheal Pouponneau, Commanding Officer, Seychelles Air Force, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral D.K. Joshi, Mr. R. K. Mathur, Secretary Defence Production, Mr. Sanjay Singh, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs were among the invitees on the occasion.
Fuelled by the growth prospects of this aircraft, HAL has also set eyes on export market.
While the full aircraft structures are already being exported to Germany for assembly and supply to world-wide market, efforts are underway to achieve direct exports.
The company is making efforts to exploit conducive military markets in Mauritius, Nepal, Vietnam, South Africa, Afghanistan and Columbia. Efforts are also to penetrate civil export markets that are suited for HAL-DO-228s.
HAL manufactures this aircraft under licence agreement with the erstwhile Dornier GmbH of Germany at its Transport Aircraft Division, Kanpur, and has world-wide unfettered sales and marketing rights.
Along with the airframe, engines and several of the systems and avionics are also produced in house at various Divisions of HAL ensuring single window life-time support to the customers.
The cockpit is designed to accommodate two crew members and is fitted with duplicate controls.
The cabin can accommodate 19 passengers in commuter configuration.
Earlier, Indian Navy had deployed a Dornier aircraft in Seychelles under a government to government memorandum of undertaking.
The Dornier was stationed at Victoria, capital of Seychelles deployed for surveillance and anti-piracy patrols.