GIS - 22 June, 2018: The Indian Navy has completed the refit of the National Coast Guard (NCG) vessel CGS Guardian. The vessel arrived in Mauritius from India after a six-month long Service Life Extension Refit (SLER). The SLER is a very detailed overhaul of the ship providing extension to the life of the ship.
To that end, a ceremony to showcase the work done by the Government of India/ Indian Navy for the NCG on a friendly basis was held this morning at the Christian Decotter Cruise Terminal in Port Louis. The Senior Chief Executive of the Ministry of Defense and Rodrigues, Mr Premhans Jhugroo, the Indian High Commissioner, Mr Abhay Thakur, and the Commissioner of Police, Mr Mario Nobin, were present.
In his address, Mr Jhugroo pointed out that the refit exercise carried out on CGS Guardian was undertaken by the Government of India on a gratis basis at a total cost of Rs 140 million. The vessel, he said, will carry out Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance, ensure maritime security, detect illegal fishing and rescue human life.
The Senior Chief Executive also underlined the strong bond of friendship and bilateral ties between Mauritius and India while adding that the Indian Navy is extending tremendous support to the NCG through capacity building and training. He also spoke about the Trident Project, an integrated development project of the NCG, which will change the landscape of how the NCG is operating. The project consists in the setting up of the Headquarters of the NCG in the Port area with a line of credit of USD 52.3 million and a grant assistance of USD 4 million from the Government of India.
For his part, the High Commissioner of India. Mr Abhay Thakur said that the refit exercise of the CGS Guardian undertaken by India was within the agreed time frame which demonstrates the growing capacity of Indian shipyards. He recalled that India has built several ships for Mauritius namely the CGS Guardian, CGS Barracuda, 10 Fast Interceptor Boats, CGS Victory and CGS Valiant.
Mr Thakur commended the excellent relations between the two countries and said that Mauritius and India will continue to collaborate closely on future projects. According to him, Mauritius has advanced significantly in the sphere of security while adding that the collaboration between the two countries has worked well since the last 50 years.
He highlighted that India is strengthening the naval capabilities of Mauritius while recalling that after an official visit by Indian President Ramnath Kovind to Mauritius on 12 March 2018, it was announced that India would provide Mauritius with an extra $100 million credit line toward military capability-building, as part of the Indian Ocean Region Outreach, which focuses on maritime security, amongst others. Under this deal Mauritius will use the money to acquire another offshore patrol vessel from India; a new Coastal Radar Surveillance System; as well as augment the capacity of the Maritime Air Squadron.
Refurbishment of CGS Guardian
The CGS Guardian departed for Mumbai in October 2017 under tow by the Tug Triton Energy, which was hired by the Indian Navy for getting the ship from Mauritius to Mumbai. The refurbishment, which began in December 2017, was done at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. A crew of 36 NCG personnel embarked onboard for the passage. On reaching Mumbai, 16 personnel returned to Mauritius and the remaining 20 personnel stayed back for the entire duration of the refit.
The ship carried out Pre-Refit trials with personnel from Indian naval dockyard embarked onboard for assessment and ascertaining the status of all machinery prior commencement of refit. Thereafter, the ship was dry docked at Naval dockyard Mumbai in Dec 2017 for underwater hull maintenance.
The major works undertaken onboard include renewal of underwater hull plates, major overhaul of firefighting system, major routines on both Diesel Generators, routine on both main engines, overhaul of pumps, motors and valves and up-gradation of habitability. Further, major equipment like air compressors, anchor chain cable, and life rafts were replaced by new one.
Post completion of the refit, the ship undertook extensive trails both in harbour and at sea to carry out fine tuning of equipment. Towards the end phase of the refit, the Naval Workup Team at Mumbai carried out Sea Safety Checks and provided the much required training to the crew on various aspects including firefighting, damage control and ship handling from 24 to 28 May 2018. The ship commenced her return passage to Mauritius on 1 June 2018 and completed her return passage in 14 days as she entered Port Louis on 15 June.
India and Mauritius have a long-standing defense and security relationship that includes training, arming and logistical equipment of the security forces.
Defense and naval cooperation is central in the Mauritius-India partnership. India is a critical supporter of the Mauritian security forces and coast guard. It not only plays a central role in Mauritian capability-building – in 2015 it donated an offshore patrol vessel, the Barracuda, and provided it with two surveillance aircraft in 2012 – but it is also directly involved in Mauritian defense. India provides military training to Mauritian forces, patrol services in Mauritian waters, and takes part in the command of Mauritian forces.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://gis.govmu.org