In a boost to its defence ties with Seychelles, India will gift a Dornier aircraft to that country to carry out surveillance against sea-borne terrorism and anti-piracy missions.
Defence Minister A K Antony will present Hindustan Aeronautics Limited's Dornier DO-228 aircraft to Seychelles President James Michel on January 31.
Seychelles and HAL had signed a contract for two aircraft in February last year and promised to deliver the planes by 2014. However, HAL is handing over one of the aircraft a year in advance.
As part of the extensive co-operation between the two countries in the field of defence and security, especially anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean Region, India has provided defence equipment and gifted a naval patrol vessel to that country for better patrolling against Somali pirates.
Earlier too, India has provided Seychelles with equipment such as Dornier aircraft and Chetak helicopters for meeting its defence needs.
General Manager of HAL, Kanpur, D Balasubramaniyam said at a press conference here today that HAL has manufactured 117 Dornier DO-228 aircraft till now and presented it to Regional Air Services, Defence Forces - Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force.
In 2013-14, HAL is planning to make 30 Dornier DO-228 aircraft for Air Force, Navy and DRDO, and 10 aircraft for South Africa, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Philippines, Thailand and Ecuador, he said.
India has also presented two Dornier aircraft to Mauritius.