In a further boost to the Indo-Maldivian ties, India reportedly provided a Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft to the Maldives National Defence Force (MDNF).
The move, it was reported by Hindustan Times, would help the Maldivian forces keep a weather eye on the movement of Chinese vessels in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Indian Ocean archipelago.
It must be noted that India and Maldives are conducting joint surveillance activities in the said region.
The report quoted one of the people trained to operate the Dornier by the Indian Navy as saying, “The aircraft will also help in monitoring the activities of Chinese vessels in regional waters. The surveillance of the EEZ includes the tracking of all adversarial movements, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and drug and human trafficking.”
The person further said, “In light of the Mahibadhoo and Laamu attacks by suspected terrorists, the Dornier aircraft will also be useful in the counter-terrorism sphere. The isolated and dispersed nature of islands and resorts can be safeguarded only by a technologically capable fixed wing aircraft.”