GIS - 16 March 2015: A new Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), the CGS Barracuda, was commissioned on 12 March 2015 in the service of the National Coast Guard of Mauritius. The Prime Minister of the Republic of India, Shri Narendra Modi, and the Mauritian Prime Minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth, proceeded with the commissioning on Quay A at the Port Louis Harbour.
In his address, Prime Minister Jugnauth stated that India and Mauritius share not only outstanding cultural and economic ties but also a flourishing maritime partnership and the Barracuda is a vivid example of this deep-rooted bond. The vessel has come at an opportune moment when the Indian and Mauritian Governments have concluded an MoU for the improvement of sea and air transportation facilities at Agalega, he observed.
According to the Prime Minister, the Barracuda will enhance maritime safety and security, especially in the combat against poaching of our marine and fish resources, illicit activities in our seas, including drug trafficking and other types of transnational crimes, pollution of our waters and intervention to cope with multifaceted disaster at sea to save life and property. The National Coast Guard with such platform is better equipped to meet emerging challenges as well as expectations of the public at large, in an effective and efficient manner, added Sir Anerood Jugnauth.
For his part, the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Modi who was on a 24-hour State visit, said that Mauritius is a key leader for a secure and sustainable future for the Indian Ocean and India is proud to be Mauritius’ partner. India, he stated, will work to ensure a safe, secure and stable Indian Ocean Region that delivers us all to the shores of prosperity, and will deepen our economic and security cooperation with its friends in the region especially its maritime neighbours and island States. Collective action and cooperation will best advance peace and security in our maritime region and also prepare us better to respond to emergencies, Shri Modi observed.
The Indian Prime Minister recalled that, in 2008, India promoted the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium and, today it brings together 35 navies of the region. ‘We also support efforts to strengthen our regional mechanisms for maritime cooperation – from dealing with piracy terrorism and other crimes, to marine safety and natural disasters’, he pointed out. India has also started maritime security cooperation with Maldives and Sri Lanka and we hope that Mauritius, Seychelles and other nations in the region will also join this initiative, added the Prime Minister.
Features of OPV CGS Barracuda
CGS Barracuda, spanning over 74.10 m in length and 11.40 m in breadth, has been custom-designed as a state-of-the-art platform based on the specific requirements of Mauritius with the objective of ensuring safety and security of maritime zone/EEZ of Mauritius. It will cater for long–range Outer Islands support missions, pollution response, high-speed pirate interdiction, transportation of small detachment of troops/personnel and search & rescue operations, amongst others.
Salient features of the OPV include a movement capability at a maximum speed of 22 knots with an approximate displacement of 1,350 tonnes. The ship has been fitted with state-of-the-art Main Engines, Controls and Integrated Bridge System catering to all needs of communication and navigation.
Shri Modi Chief Guest for National Day celebrations
It is recalled that Shri Modi was the Chief Guest of the Government for the celebrations marking the 47th anniversary of Independence and 23rd anniversary of the Republic of Mauritius. During his visit, Shri Modi paid a courtesy call on the President of the Republic, Mr Rajkeswur Purryag. He had a tête-à-tête with Prime Minister Jugnauth, after which an exchange of MoU/Agreements between both parties was held. Shri Modi also attended a State Banquet hosted in his honour by the Mauritian Prime Minister.
Moreover on 12 March, the Indian Prime Minister visited the Ganga Talao followed by the launching of construction works of the World Hindi Secretariat at Phoenix. He also addressed the National Assembly, and visited the Aapravasi Ghat World Heritage Site. Later in the evening of March 12, Shri Narendra Modi, attended the National Day celebrations at the Champ de Mars in Port Louis.