“Neighbourhood First”: Maldives gets two Made in India warships - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla

The Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) that India showcased was commissioned into the Maldives National Defense Force as the MNDF Coast Guard Vessel Huravee

By Vikas Gupta

Defence News of India, 3 May 23

On the penultimate day of his three-day visit to the Maldives, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh handed over two “Made in India” warships to the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF).

One of them, a Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV), capable of high-speed coastal and offshore surveillance, was commissioned as the MNDF Coast Guard Vessel Huravee.

The other vessel he featured is a Landing Craft Assault (LCA), capable of transporting personnel and equipment and landing them on a beach in the face of opposition.

In the Union budget for 2023-2024, New Delhi has allocated Rs 400 crore to the Maldives, towards lines of credit for the provision of such Indian defense aid.

Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih; and Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi were present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Rajnath Singh described the handover of the two naval platforms as a symbol of India and Maldives’ shared commitment to peace and security in the ocean region. Indian.

Citing India’s strong defense manufacturing ecosystem, Rajnath said the country has significantly improved its capabilities to support partner nations.

“India has become one of the major defense exporters in recent years. A defense manufacturing ecosystem has been created which has the advantage of abundant technical manpower. We produce world-class equipment to meet not only our own needs but also for export,” Rajnath said at the handover ceremony.

“India offers an enhanced defense partnership to friendly foreign countries that takes into account their national priorities and capabilities. We wish to create symbiotic relationships where we can learn from each other, grow together and create a win-win situation for India’s commitment to supporting the Maldives will only grow stronger with time,” he said.

Referring to India’s strong defense relationship with the Maldives, Rajnath said the ties emanate from the twin policies of ‘Neighborhood First’ and ‘SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region).

Rajnath recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Maldives in June 2019, during which he stressed that under India’s “Neighborhood First” priority, “the Maldives is the top priority”.

“The Indian Ocean is our common space. The peace and security of a region is best ensured with the cooperation and collaboration of regional actors,” he said.

Noting the vulnerability of the Maldives to the vagaries of climate change, Rajnath expressed India’s readiness to work with its neighbor for adaptation and mitigation.